Saturday, February 28, 2009

Party Girl!

One of my favorite movies is on right now on Flix: Party Girl with Parker Posey!

The Daring Bakers! February Challenge!

So, at the suggestion of The Mom, I decided to join up with The Daring Bakers. Now, that being said, I'm not much of a baker, I'm much more of a cooker. But, we gave it a try.

The folks who submitted the challenge asked that all of the bakers include the following message: "The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef. We have chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge."

The recipe indicated that the Valentino cake would taste mostly like the chocolate you picked out. While I like Chocolate, I didn't do much research, I just picked up what they had at Williams Sonoma...

The recipe has you melting together one pound of the chocolate of your choice with one stick of butter....

Making the cake batter was really easy. While the chocolate and butter mixture is cooling, you are to whip five egg whites into stiff peaks. Then, beat the five yolks (with the same beater/whisk used to whip up the whites) and add the yolks to the chocolate and butter.

Then you fold in the whites with the chocolate, butter and eggs. Then you bake the batter at 375 for 25 minutes or so, or until an instant read thermometer shows 140 and the center is set.

Then it was on to the ice cream!

I didn't have an ice cream maker. (Long story-- we had gotten one as a wedding present from Tom Snyder years ago, but we tried it once and it didn't work...) so it was off to the WS and using a credit from The Mom, I got this great Cuisinart ice cream/sorbet maker. It came with an extra freezer bowl and it is *really* great!! I used David Lebovitz' recipe for vanilla ice cream (as it was similar to the recipe I used at Cornell when I made ice cream in cooking class-- that being the last time I had ever made ice cream). The recipe essentially calls for a custard base. This was really easy (though between this and the cake, can I just say that I actually used *ten* eggs?? WoW!)

In the end, the ice cream was fab and I'm really looking forward to using the machine to try and recreate some of our favorites from the Bent Spoon like blood orange sorbet! The cake? I wasn't crazy about the cake. It was mostly a brownie like consistency, and unfortunately the chocolate I choose just wasn't sweet enough. But all, in all, a fun challenge!

Real Time Blogging!

I'm at Fekkai waiting for my haircut! I've been shampooed and am now being plied with champagne (quite a complement to the Dunkin Donuts bagel I had for breakfast!) Later on the Husband and I will be taking Miss B ice skating at Wollman rink! And even later on, I'll be posting the results of my Daring Baker's challenge.

Shout out to Miss Alitheia and to Bernard! Congrats on the arrival of Alexander!!

Face it, we are all doing our part to repopulate the world with future Cornellians!

On a side note, here's to hoping I don't run into any work folk here at FF, because let's face it, on a Saturday *before* the hair cut/color/style no one is looking their best!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I Wonder What Freddie Mercury Would Think...

Today on the way to Gymboree Miss B. and I were listening to "One Vision" thanks to the iPod. This is one of my favorite "Queen" songs. In the words of the great Master Oogway from Kung Fu Panda, "there are no accidents", nor, I assume are there coincidences either, just twists of fate. What was today's twist of fate? That while we were at Gymboree Miss Adrienne lead the class in our "tap tap song". I had never heard the "tap tap song" so this was new to me. She had us start by tapping on the mat and then clapping our hands, rather rhythmically. Dum-dum, clap, dum-dum, clap... after a few moments Miss Adrienne begins to sing the Gymboree rendition of "We Will Rock You" where the words have been changed to "Gym-bo, Gym-Bo, Gym-Bo" together with something to the effect of: "Gymbo is a red clown, blue clown, yellow clown. Gymbo is gonna come play to-day" You see, for those of you not familiar with Gymboree, Gymbo is the clown mascot. Now I'm sure that the remaining members of "Queen" have sold the rights to their song so that it can be used in such a manner. But alas, when it was originally written, I doubt they could forsee its being sung in quite this way. Oddly, I felt like the only person who thought the new rendition of this classic rock anthem was a travesty.

Next, Miss Sherri (who is in training and, while very nice, seems a bit out of place as she was all made up and kind of looked like she moonlights as a stripper in Bangkok) lead "parachute" time. Miss Sherri was a bit nervous today and her performance was not unlike one of Jessica Simpson's opening numbers for Rascal Flatts. She kept trying to start "Jack and Jill" or something about some blackbirds, (I'm not really sure which) and the poor thing just kept saying that she was sorry and that she was nervous and forgot the words and that she needed to start over.

One of the moms tried to chime in, but that didn't ring any bells for Miss Sherri and then she started singing instead some song about three little ducklings that wandered out of their nest and never came home. (!) Why she thought this theme was appropriate for toddlers I'm not sure. Thankfully, we moved on to "bubble time" quickly before Miss Sherri could come up with any other songs, perhaps one about goldfish being flushed down the toilet or birds being eaten by cats.

Also in class today were a pair of Indian twin boys that remind me of The Shining every time I see them. I know, in the Shining the twins were girls, but these kids have the same glazed over look in their eyes that the movie twins had and with their bowl hair cuts they kind of look like Danny, the little boy from The Shining so it all just merges in my head and I'm generally freaked out. In truth these kids are very nice and well behaved and I'm just being an immature film freak, but what can I say. If you were there you'd totally see the resemblance.

After Gymboree, Miss B. and I went to lunch with the gang at our usual food court hangout. Today the food court was empty except for our gaggle of toddlers and a whole table full of New Jersey State Police. (The barracks are across the parking lot). I kept thinking to myself-- do State Police have anything they could give to us (besides a ticket) if we brought the kids over? You know, like how Nuns are supposed to give you medals and stewardesses can give you wings? We decided not to try our luck.

But, I digress. During lunch, one of the kids in our party kept running free which wouldn't have been an issue except for the fact that her hands and face were covered in an assortment of food which included pizza, pizza sauce, egg roll, beef and broccoli, fruit punch and chocolate chip cookie. Can I just say, wipes were invented for a reason? And, not only that, but there is such a thing as a napkin and customarily they are given away free when you purchase food, so it would be nice if we could all start using them! I had to sit at lunch with all of my belongings on my lap for fear that "food-hands" would be all over my stuff. My coat is machine washable, but my purse isn't. Really, saying "she won't let me wipe her mouth" is just an excuse for laziness. Admit it, you've just given up. Or, alternatively, if your child really has some sort of pathological fear of having their face wiped, why not police what they're having for lunch a little bit better so that there isn't as much of a mess going on? Oy!

The Space at the End of a Sentence.

Have you ever spent the better part of an evening searching for ". [space]"?

Otherwise known as the space at the end of a sentence, which, for whatever reason, in my world must be exactly two space bar pushes?

At the Job, if there is a sentence following a sentence there must be two space bar pushes in between. Not one, not three. Two. If there is a new section, or if it is the end of a paragraph, the rule doesn't apply. There may be some other formatting issue, or a tab involved, but not specifically anything about spacing. BUT, in between sentences that do go together to form a paragraph? Two pushes of the space bar (which appear on your screen as two small dots floating in mid-air.) Hanging. Just sitting there. A pause.

Unfortunately, whoever first drafted the particular document that I was working on this evening was not a fan of the pause. Clearly they must have been a fast talker, one who rarely takes a breath between thoughts because peppered throughout the document were sentences with merely one space bar push before the next sentence.

It was one big gobbledygook of dominion account provisions thrown together in much the same manner as the text read ridiculously quickly at the end of a car commercial.

Did the younger associate who worked on this agreement before me and failed to update defined terms, yada, yada, yada, correct this microformatting glitch? Of course not. So, it was left to me, after midnight to sit and search for ". [space]"

Not to mention taking out all of the instances of the article: "the" before any proper name used in the singular (another one of our stellar formatting conventions).

Now, don't get me wrong. I am being paid for all of this. But is it any wonder why lawyers are high strung? One spends years of training memorizing all kinds of minutiae and it all boils down to ". [space]"

Pause. Breathe. Space. Space. Next sentence.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It's 12:19am, and I'm Punchy.

I've been doing school work since Miss B. went to sleep and there's nothing like revising a Second Mortgage to get you all loopy. I've got "Next" on the kitchen TV (and the credits are scrolling backwards) but I've been listening to my iTunes library the whole time while the Husband paints the utility room (surely the paint fumes have nothing to do with my current mental state, it's all the loan docs, I'm certain of it).

So. What's new? Rented "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" and "Leatherheads" from the Redbox. We'll see how those are.

Didn't even get an honorable mention in the Oscar Pool.

Next, in the "New found Appreiciation" department:

Cake. Okay, I know they came out sometime in the '90s, so like how behind the times am I, but since "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" has been the theme to "Chuck", I started listening to their music and what can I say, it's very catchy. Thanks to the Husband for figuring out who they were and what they were doing. I also like their version of "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps"

Other music? Duffy. Paolo Nutini (got to love the name if nothing else). And, basically most other people you'd hear in an elevator or in the background at J Crew. I've just become one of those people, I guess.

Other favorites: For baby clothes? Old Navy. Okay, ON can be kind of on the fence, but in the baby/toddler clothes department they've been hitting some high notes lately, so here's to hoping they don't go out of business too soon. I've been getting some great little dresses for Miss B. there, including one little knit jobby with matching tights that totally looks like it could be from the "tea" collection!

Finally, what's on the menu for this week?

After yesterday's bout of stomach-flu related unplesasantness one would think I wouldn't be thinking about food for a while (let's just quote TDWP, right now!) But never! This week we've got sliders and fries, home made pizza and chili. I've also got to try and finish my DB's Challenge before the end of the month, but mum's the word on that one!

Good night, all!

Monday, February 23, 2009


Hmpf. Not that exciting. Thoughts?

First off, I've only ever won the Oscar Pool at the Job once. That was clearly some kind of fluke. This year I went straight Entertainment Weekly voting across the board (with the exception of choosing Mickey Rourke over Sean Penn because I despise Sean Penn) and what happens? I lose in all those goofy categories like "best animated short film" and "best documentary about a subject no one is interested in". Damn! I was just trying to win movie tickets and shut out again, as usual.

Outfits? What did everyone think? Poor Reese Witherspoon. Why do people think black and blue can go together? It's never good when you start out closely resembling a bruise. It takes a lot to come back from those comparisons, so the dress has to be really phenomenal. And this one just wasn't.

Amy Adam's jewels. Is it just me or did this look like the same Bulgari necklace that Keira Knightly wore a few years ago? (And, why do I know that?)

Meryl Streep. So didn't talk to Tim Gunn on the Red Carpet. And, given that she was in grey and made her poor daughter wear dishwater brown it's no wonder.

Brad and Angie: Good for her. She snubbed Ryan Seacrest AGAIN!

Jennifer Anniston and John Mayer. Okay, sorry, but he's just too young for her. He makes Ashton Kutcher look like Henry Kissenger. It's not even his age so much as you just know he's a smug immature jerk, you know? And really, if he's dated Jessica Simpson, do you think this is some sort of prize after you've been married to Brad Pitt? She would have been better sticking with Vince Vaughn!

Where was Jack Nicholson? He's usually front and center with his sunglasses on. Maybe he was trying to avoid Shirley Maclaine.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Jon and Kate... plus a big new house

Okay, I haven't watched this show in quite a while. I used to like it. Tonight? Tonight I saw an episode where they're moving into yet another new house. This one appears to be rather large. The finished basement/family room looks bigger than the entire first floor of their old house. They've now got a professional kitchen with a Sub-Zero. Good for them that they've been able to accomplish all this just by having reproduced, but I have to say you've just lost me as a viewer. I'm interested in what their life is like with the *kids*, not *because* of the kids. We've gone from free plastic surgery, free hair plugs to now a giant house with a circular driveway and watching Jon and Kate pick out floor tile. I wasn't watching to see "This Old House" or "House Hunters".... No wonder our society has spawned the "OctoMom"!

The Prisoner's Dilemma

You have to love Human Nature. Tonight we went to Wegman's to pick up a few things and to drop off three Redbox DVDs. We get to the store and there's actually a *line* at the Redbox. There's a man and his son, renting and then three women behind them waiting to rent. Then there's me. I've got three New Releases and I'm waiting to return them. Meanwhile, the people ahead of me are endlessly scrolling through all of the movies the box doesn't have. Finally, I say to the woman ahead of me that I am returning three movies and if she let's me put them in the box, then she can rent them. I then have to pitch to her the movies I'm returning. Because, you know, she might not want any of them... and god forbid, I might attempt to rent something *ahead* of her, right after I finish returning my videos. I sell her on "W.", but meanwhile we're still waiting for one of the women. Her husband comes over. Now I can tell, just by looking at these people that if her husband knew that I was holding "Body of Lies" with Russell Crowe, the man would have wanted to rent it... but no, instead he and the wife are oblivious. I then say that I'm going to leave and return the movies after we're done shopping because this whole process is taking too long and now the woman ahead of me, who wants to rent "W." pleads with me to stay.

As for the movies? "W", was, as the Dad had fortold: entertaining (though I did doze during part of it, but that was more because I was tired...) I was really surprised with Josh Brolin. Normally I'm not a big fan of his, but I thought he did a good job.

Then there was "Frozen River". Okay, I can see why Melissa Leo got an Oscar nomination. She was the female equivalent this year of Richard Jenkins. I guess if wearing absolutely no make-up is seen as good acting than she certainly deserves to win. In all honestly, the movie was good, but not in an uplifting or entertaining way. It was a well told story in an "Independent Film Channel" sort of way. I read up on the movie on the net and the writer/director said that she was trying to show how a mother's love for her children is something that transcends cultural boundaries. I will say that was accomplished, and if you ever wonder what life is like in Upstate New York, this movie certainly can give you a taste of it.

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's been a bad week for electronics....

Last week my blackberry bit the dust. Alas, it had inadvertently fallen to the ground one too many times for its own good and the last blow was directly to the track wheel (which apparently is about as technologically advanced these days as using a doodle pro for email)... I quickly learned that without the trackwheel, I couldn't scroll through emails, select applications or generally use the damn thing. Thankfully, the Job provided me with an upgrade, to a Blackberry 8130 "Curve". Yay! It's got a Qwerty keyboard (though the keys are super tiny, so that will take some getting used to), it came with a headset... the folks in New York State will be happy with that at least for purposes of those pesky "handsfree device" rules..., and a camera and all other sorts of neat goodies! So, when I got home from the office the other day, I went to turn on my work computer and what happened? Blue screen of death? Why no, it wouldn't even boot up to the blue screen! I've got a DOS prompt telling me that one of the programs necessary to make the computer function is either (a) lost or (b) corrupted. So, I called the gentleman in IT who handled my blackberry set up and read him the error message. I am then told, in a low voice: "Oh.... You're going to have to bring that in." I swear, this was NOT intentional! Perhaps I have become magnetized like Jack Black in "Be Kind Rewind", or it is possible that my laptop just decided to give up on life after working for two years (it had started overheating something terrible and the battery power pack thing would get hot enough to practically fry an egg on!) None of that could be good.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dad, D-A-D, Dad

So, this is a shout out to the DAD! How cool is it to have a Dad that you can call up and say:

"hey, I was thinking about getting "X""

and have him say: "I've got one of those! I'll bring it up for you!"

The Dad is like the International House of Pancakes, except he's more like the "International House of Dad" and he's got everything in stock!

You see, in the fam, we all take pictures. Thanks to Mom and the Dad I got my first Nikon 35mm (a 6006) as a college graduation gift. It's a beautiful camera, which I still have. After using it for my summer in Paris and eventually moving on to becoming a half-way decent photographer, the folks upgraded it to a Nikon F5 when the Husband and I went on our first trip to Paris. Meanwhile, the Dad was purchasing all kinds of camera equipment for his photo arsenal, including all kinds of neat lenses. Along the way, he also provided us with a fancy-schmancy fisheye lens and once Miss B. entered the world, the Dad delivered to us a D200 to move us into the digital age. (Not to mention, having previously supplied us with a Canon Elph APS camera-- *love that camera*... and a Digital Elph.... did I mention that we all like to take pictures? Like, a *LOT* of pictures? And, that apparently, our motto is "you can never have too many cameras?")

So, for my photo outfit I've got a 50mm 1.8 lens, a telephoto zoom, a wide angle zoom, the aforementioned fisheye and a wide angle zoom on my 6006. The other day I visited B & H (aka the equivalent of a crack den for photography enthusiasts) and picked up a 24 mm lens. But I was in the middle of a brain fog, because what I was really looking for was a telephoto prime lens with a low f-stop NOT a wide angle lens with a low f-stop.

So, I call the Dad, because I know he's got some goodies hidden up his sleeve and I wanted to see what he had and see if I could test out some of the lenses in order to really figure out what it was that I was looking for. And what, ho! Dad not only has the exact lens that I was thinking I wanted to get, but then he has an even fancier lens, with zoom capability and an even more amazing f-stop capacity. And, it's never even been used! Not only has it not been used, but it's in the original packaging. (That is one of those things that I have inherited from my Dad... retaining original packaging... I found an iPod box the other day for an iPod I don't even have anymore-- but I still have that Box!) ;) How cool is that?

So, at the end of our phone conversation, the Dad asked whether this made up for his having previously sold the infamous "Buddy L" truck. (You see, long ago in my Dad's den there was this turqoise toy truck up high on a shelf that had a boat on the back of it... I loved that truck, and then, one day I asked about it and (Gasp!) it had been sold!) I'll make it official, right here... I think this makes up for the Buddy L truck (especially, since apparently, the truck was rusted in the inside! ;) Between this and having previously delivered to me (x) the Jackie Stewart car, figurine and collie and (y) a Dinky Rocket Launcher, I think we're square.

I love you, DAD!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Clam Chowder!

Tonight I made Ina Garten's East Hampton Clam Chowder (finally!) thanks to fresh shucked clams from McCaffrey's (what can I say, I had no intention of doing my own shucking). You can find the recipe on page 28 of Ina's cookbook "Barefoot Contessa Family Style". Ina has you sauteeing mire poix in butter, together with a bit of salt, fresh ground pepper and fresh thyme. I added in leeks with the celery, carrots and potato chunks. I also used red potatoes, butter potatoes and white potatoes. Once your vegetables cook for a bit and start to get soft you add in four cups of clam juice. (Nothing like peanut butter, dry white toast and clam juice!) Bring your mixture to a boil and let your veggies get soft. Next, Ina has you melting additional butter and mixing in flour and then adding that to your soup-- I diverged, and instead added a bit of cream and two bay leaves, a dash of cayenne pepper and some garlic salt. Once the potatoes were tender and the broth had thickened a bit (with the help of a touch of corn starch...) I was ready to add in my fresh clams (with their juices). With the soup on medium-low heat, add in the clams and only cook for a short time as the longer they're in the tougher they can get. Once the clams changed color, we were ready to serve and thanks to the Husband bringing home oyster crackers we were ready to eat!!!

The soup was really great-- and the clams really fresh! Yay to Ina (with a few seasoning additions of our own!) ;)


Where are they? Why did Wegman's hide them? I *hate* that store! For no apparent good reason they totally reconfigured the cracker/cookie/juice aisle and along the line managed to "lose" their supply of oyster crackers. How can we have clam chowder without oyster crackers!?!

Not So Tasty Tuesday....

So, we've been participating (or trying to) in Forever Wherever's Tasty Tuesday blogroll for a while now. Unfortunately, though today is Tuesday, our food fortunes did not smile upon us. I had high hopes for lemon chicken stirfry, a typically tasty and usually easy dinner that packs a lot of punch thanks to the addition of lemon saffron rice. Well. Not tonight. Nope, tonight we had a Primo's Frozen Pizza. To make matters worse, I haven't gone to do the week's grocery shopping yet so this evening, after our pizza dinner, when the Husband and I wanted to snack on something, the only thing we had was frozen Eggo Waffles. They were blueberry. This is what happens when the Husband comes home and has to review a 111 page Loan Agreement amendment and I have to revise an Amended and Restated Loan Agreement. Last night was taco night (complete with cilantro lime rice and two kinds of refried beans, crunchy and soft tacos)... but tonight? Tonight's dinner was just lame! Here's to a better tomorrow, and oh, by the way, to my friends at Whole Foods: Will you ever be getting in shucked clams again? I've been waiting to make Ina Garten's East Hampton Clam Chowder for like a week already!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Shout out to

David! Today Miss B. and I hit up Devon & Blakley with David. Bagel stick sandwiches for everyone! D&B is a little odd in that it is one level below street level and you usually get to it by going down an escalator. With Miss B. in tow, David and I were coordinating how to accomplish this when the building security folks offered up an elevator. But that elevator wasn't working, so they had us come into the building and use the freight elevator. Which required an elevator operator, who then had to show us how to get from where the elevator put us to the actual restaurant. In the end, taking Miss B. out of her stroller and then just carrying the stroller down would have been faster! But what lunch is complete without a tour of the underbelly of an office building?

As usual, lunch was fun and who besides David could we discuss camera equipment, cell phones and potty training anecdotes?

Monday, February 16, 2009


Last night I watched "Penelope"... it wasn't bad for a bit of a modern day fairy tale/Tim Burton Lite...

Small World!

For those of you in the area... I'm going to be showing a selection of my photography at Small World Coffee's Nassau Street Location in April! More details to follow!!


Were she older, this would have been Miss B.'s first "eye rolling" at the parent experience.

Since Showtime has been constantly playing "Casino Royale" it has become the new Da Vinci Code. Which means now I know most of the dialogue by heart. The other day when Miss B. and I were at Westminster waiting for Thisbe and the Wee Kraken we had a light snack. I had packed a little bag of Rold Gold pretzels. I'm not a pretzel fan myself, but Miss B. handed me one out of the bag. I took a bite.

Then I said: "That's Not Half Bad. I'll have to think up a name for that."

Bond humor. Sophie didn't seem amused.

Tonight's Dinner...

A roasted chicken (surrounded by roasted potatoes and other veggies...), mashed potatoes (starch overload!), sauteed zucchini with parmesan, and baby peas. Very tasty indeed and relatively simple (though too many pans were involved). This followed a monster brunch which included (i) pancakes, (ii) eggs benedict-- with real hollandaise! and (iii) mini tater tots! What can I say, the Husband wanted pancakes and I wanted eggs. Again, how is it that we're not poster children for obesity in America? Unclear. Just keeping our fingers crossed for now.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Here are some pictures from yesterday...

Hors de Prix

The other night we watched Hors de Prix, a movie with Audrey Tautou and Gad Elmaleh. It was really cute! I highly recommend it.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Maybe She Is a Princess!

Today we had a great Valentine's Day in NYC. We went to Sesame Street Live (where the characters did at one point dance to "The Hustle" and a Bee Gee's "You Should Be Dancing"... they even had Bert dressed up in John Travolta's white suit from Saturday Night Fever!-- that's my kind of Muppet Show!)

Then we headed up town, the plan being to go to Shake Shack and hit up the Polar Rink at the American Museum of Natural History. During the day, while out and about, Sophie got a ton of complements on her hat! At one point, a little girl said to her mother: "She's wearing a Princess Hat" to which her mother replied, "Maybe she IS a Princess!" (Well, we KNOW Miss B. is a princess, but it's always nice to have it reconfirmed by an unbiased public...) ;)

Unfortunately, part of Shake Shack was rented out for a party so it was crazy crowded... so instead we took a nice stroll down Columbus Ave. to Le Pain Quotidien. Then back up to the rink, stopping along the way for flowers. Sophie really enjoyed carrying around her Gerbera Daisy! It's part magic wand/part flower and all great accessorizing.

Once we got to the rink we were informed that children under 3 aren't permitted on the "ice" (noting that it actually isn't ice but some sort of plastic space age technology that requires no Zamboni... and when I called it "ice" I was quickly corrected by the AMHN staff... as if they're concerned that people would ask for their money back once they got out onto plastic...)

So, after our expedition to the rink we finished our outing by picking up Shakes at the Shack.

Happy Valentine's Day, everybody!

Oh, and by the way-- thanks too to KK!! She kindly sent me the yarn used to make Miss B.'s V-Day hat! It's lion brand Landscape... and I used a hat pattern from Itty Bitty Hats. Love that book!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

You Only Live Twice

is today's incessant whistling song. I guess it was that overload of James Bond flicks on Encore last weekend.


I'm a bit of an ambivalent Facebook user. I only have about 59 friends, one of whom, is my Mom. (So that would be technically, 58 people who aren't otherwise obliged to be my friend...) I initially friended my close friends, and have been picking up additional friends and acquaintances as time goes by and as more people I have known join up. I've got law school friends, college friends, work friends and more and more high school friends.

This is where it gets interesting.

I really only ever kept in touch with two people from high school (Ana and Texas Jack) Even with Ana, we lost touch for a ton of years and then she found me through her supersaavy internet research skills (aided by a bad photo of me posted on the Job's website). If you stretch it, I kept in touch with another girl from High School-- who is now with the IRS in the ATL but even that "in touch" was only through a random assortment of holiday and wedding cards, etc.

So, when this whole Facebook thing comes along it appears that there is a whole little community of folks from my high school. First I reconnected with the former Captain of the Quiz Bowl team (I proudly succeeded to the honor once he graduated). Then more and more people started to join and at first it seemed like everyone linked to everyone else just because we went to the same school. This brought about friending former homeroom-mates (whom I would have liked to have known better at the time) and other folks in my former sphere of acquaintance, but who were "too cool" to be directly friendly to me in high school (for Ana's benefit: read our friend who prefers all her clothes to be "dry clean only".

If nothing else, I was interested to see pictures of these peoples' kids and spouses, since I never made it to my ten year reunion and they didn't appear to have one for our 15. Then I found MCM who always was a wacky chick and I'm glad to be back in touch with. Then there is the guy who I kind of went on a wacky date with and should have gone to the prom with, then there is the guy who I kind of went on a wacky date with (and apparently so did every other brainy-geeky girl in our class all while he was still dating his now wife...), then there are people who I was friendly with who I haven't friended and they haven't friended me (what's the deal people?) and I'm just not interested enough to be one of those people who friend everybody-- so I'll let them take the first step. Then there are people who have friended me who I either didn't really know, or in today's case-- never really liked to begin with.

Today I was friended by a fellow that I have known since I got to Georgia at the end of the fourth grade. He was in my gifted class and wore "sans-a-belt" shorts. He always looked a bit stuck up, or as my mom would say "looks like he's got a pole up his..." well, you know the expression. I never really liked this person. I guess I was never openly hostile enough to him though, because he, unlike some people I was actually friends with, friended me. It's not as bad as if I had been friended by the guy who always smelled like soup, but it's close.

It's strange because this fellow lives in Bozeman, Montana now, is building a house himself and has a very pretty, normal looking wife. In the pictures posted on his profile he actually looks like he's having a good time and would be someone who you'd want to be friends with. Totally contradictory to the image I had all growing up. Regardless. I still found it a random friending.


So I'm sitting here watching Antiques Roadshow with Miss B. and a lady has a big Quimper vase. Mr. Lackey, the pottery expert, keeps calling it "Kwim-PEAR". I guess I'm gauche. I've always called it "KWIM-per". Who knew?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Above the Law

I got a message this afternoon from one of my colleagues at the Job asking if I had heard the news. Turns out two of our other colleagues had been let go (one of whom was currently working as a team member on a project I am staffed on). Colleauge then suggested I check out Above the Law, as it appeared to have been a bit of a Black Thursday.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Top Chef!

Okay, Yay! for Fabio, he deserved to win this challenge, especially with the broken finger. Carla? Seems nice enough, if not a complete nutball, I have to say though, I can't beleive she's made it this far. Stefan? Talented, glad he made it through. Hosea? I hope Fabio and Stefan kick his butt!


I'm on a conference call for the Job. I've been on since 2pm. Now the client from the other side is trying to explain to the partner I work with how to do a Sudoko puzzle.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Westminster, Day Two!

Today Miss B. and I hit up MSG for day two of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show with Thisbe and the Wee Kraken.

Ring Four... Samoyeds!


Miss B. visiting with Biscuit...

A Boo-Dog!
Grooming Station!

We assume the Yorkie was just sleeping...

Can anyone identify this handler... the dog looks an awful lot like the one that won Best in Show!!!

Miss B. visiting with Jerry Lee the Golden...


For the Husband...

Tasty Tuesday!

It's that time again it's Tasty Tuesday brought to us by our friends at Forever Wherever! Tonight's meal was from Ina Garten's "Barefoot Contessa Family Style" cookbook and it is her recipe for Five Cheese Penne. Can I just tell you how amazingly simple and fantastically tasty this is??

The gist of the recipe is: Preheat your oven to 500. Then par boil penne pasta. While the pasta is cooking, mix together in a large bowl two cups of heavy cream, one cup of crushed tomatoes (with tomato puree... Ina recommends Redpack), two tablespoons of ricotta, a handful of fresh basil leaves, torn up, and the following cheese (in varied amounts to your liking: gorgonzola, pecorino romano, fontina, fresh mozzarella and/or parmesan) to me it sounds like six cheeses but I'm not going to argue with Ina. (I used half a bag (or so) of Sargento's "Italian Blend" of cheese (which includes fontina, romano, etc.) a good bit of gorgonzola crumbles, Sargento shredded mozzarella and shredded parmesan. I put in a touch of fresh ground black pepper and a bit of salt. Once the pasta is al dente drain it in a collander and add it to your cheese mixture. Then pour out the pasta and cheese sauce into individual oven-proof dishes. Place a touch of butter on top of each and bake for 7-10 minutes (or until the cheese sauce is bubbling and browning a bit).

WOW! It was really, really good and very easy to make. Who doesn't love something that has a 7-10 minute bake time? It's faster than chocolate chip cookies for goodness sake! I took Ina's advice and added more gorgonzola and parmesan than the straight reciepe calls for, but you can play with the cheese amounts. You can also adjust how much cheese sauce you want by placing your boiled pasta into your oven-proof dishes first and then pouring the cheese sauce over each individual serving.

This was a winner and the fresh basil was a nice touch. Woo-Hoo!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

iPod Update...

So I looked around on the web last night after both "toggling the hold button" and "pressing down the menu and center button for six seconds, repeated as necessary" didn't work to reset my iPod. Other users suggested letting the battery completely drain and then hooking it back up to my computer again.

This has seemed to work. One caveat? Now there is something wrong with iTunes as it has merged my "Top 25 Most Played" with my "Purchased" music folder. Now the first five songs in the "Purchased" folder are the first five in the top 25 played, incidently, all of which are ones I owned and did not purchase and the first five songs I purchased mysteriously have been deleted from the file yet appear to remain in my music library. To add further confusion, other purchased songs appear to be duplicated within the purchased music directory. I now have duplicates of "Save the Last Dance for Me" (Michael Buble's version), "Can't Get Next to You" by the Temptations and "Let's Get Loud" from "On the 6"(but for the life of me I can't get rid of the "Let's Get Loud" re-mix from J-to the L-O which I mistakenly downloaded years ago).

All of this is doubly odd when considered in light of what started me iPodding last evening to begin with. I had checked my iPod the other night because after the Superbowl performance by Bruce Springsteen I wanted to play "Glory Days" in the car. It is really the only Springsteen song that I like and I thought for sure it was already on my iPod, but alas it was not there. So I uploaded the cd and then all this goofiness started. I swear it had been there before... can the iPod lose music? Do I now have to try and keep a mental directory of all 1440 songs? Like I need that! My brain is already taxed enough as it is!

Bond Unbound....

We've been watching various James Bond flicks all day on Encore. Why don't they show them in order? Unfortunately, at 9pm "For Your Eyes Only" was coming on (and at the same time George Carlin Live at USC was on HBO)... I had been looking forward to FYEO because this is the first James Bond film I actually *remember* seeing in theaters... but due to construction work in the upgraded laundry room we lost cable and internet service... now we're back online and it's time for "Live and Let Die".... meanwhile, in other news of the world it appears that my iPod is no longer, so I'll be trying to unearth my Best Buy receipt and extended warranty.

I guess the tango music I downloaded last night from "The Counterfeiters" soundtrack was just too much for it to take.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


can anyone explain to me how it is that I just watched "The Counterfeiters" on demand through "Starz on Demand" on my plasma television and the damn thing was not only a) blurry but b) all of the credits were so small you could barely read them and let's not forget c) it not only had subtitles but was also set up for closed captioning.

The quality of this movie was about as good as those DVDs you can buy on the street.

In otherwords-- I hate Verizon!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Food Stuffs!

So I forgot to take pictures and do a post for Tasty Tuesday, but here's what we had for dinner anyway.... three-cheese cheeseburgers with oven baked parmesan and garlic fries! I got great sesame seed rolls at WF and made good sized burgers... topped the burgers with a co-jack/cheddar blend and then put some gorgonzola on top too (because, as you know my mantra-- everything's better with cheese (and/or potatoes!)). We then put fresh tomato slices on the burgers and we had these great oven-baked fries. They're from Ore-Ida and they're kind of like potato wedges. The come pre-seasoned with garlic and parmesan and I added fresh ground black pepper, a bit of kosher salt and tossed the fries in a bit of olive oil before putting them in the oven. It was a very tasty Tuesday!

Then, last night we made Ina Garten's "Parker's Split Pea Soup". It was tasty as usual and such a simple recipe! I also made with it Ina's Parmesan croutons which are a great topper for the soup-- the parmesan gives a nice zing to balance out the almost bacon-y flavor of the soup (which is I guess a function of the split peas as there was no bacon or ham in sight...)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Hat Stuff!

Check this out! I knit this hot pink cable knit hat using Cascade Baby Alpaca and the "Wedding Hat" pattern (with minor modifications for yarn type) from the "Yarn Girl's Beyond the Basics" pattern book!

Whistler's Mother

I think there are two kinds of people. Whistlers and non-whistlers. I come from a long line of incessant whistlers. Once, in the second grade, towards the end of the school day I was whistling while packing up my backpack and was told in no uncertain terms by Mrs. Dyser that whistling in public is generally frowned upon. I guess she was a non-whistler. The Husband can often gauge my mood and/or brain function levels by whether I am and what I am whistling. The other day after being fried by too much loan document drafting he found me whistling the chorus to Beyonce's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)" over and over again. He knew the circuits had overloaded. This evening? When he came in from getting the mail he heard me whistling "The Theme from Bombay Talkie" (aka music used in The Darjeeling Limited). What? I bought the soundtrack and it stuck with me.

25 Random Things About Me...

RafOh posted this article from the NY Times about the latest Facebook craze "25 Random Things About Me" and I think it's pretty accurate. I love the last line regarding having found some of the lists of 25 things fascinating, “But I’m pretty certain I wouldn’t want to be stuck on a bus with [some of these people] telling me these things.”

I love reading them (because I'm nosey), I'm hesitant to post my own (because "Eagle Eye" seemed too close for comfort...) and I never like to be stuck on a bus with anyone.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

One More Thing... aka Anger Management

Finally, in our last bit of pop culture brain candy for the evening-- the Christian Bale Rant and Rave... thoughts?

Personally, it didn't seem that bad to me. Based on the description of what was happening (set forth at it sounded like he kind of had a good reason to yell at the DP. Sure, maybe he went on for a bit and could have used a few less curse words, but overall not that surprising.

If you are surprised by this sort of thing, go work at a New York City law firm for a while.

Some Thoughts....

Okay, so what is with this woman who had the 8 children??? 8 children, on top of an existing brood of six? And she has no job and lives in a 2 or 3 bedroom house with her parents who not long ago lost their own home and had to file for bankruptcy? And now the media is supposed to cannonize this woman and give her some sort of contract to be a "child care expert"? Does the phrase publicity stunt mean anything to you? And to think, people give Angelina Jolie a hard time-- she's at least appropriately financially situated to support her brood, and besides, she's got Brad Pitt, whether married to him or not-- he's nothing if not an extra set of hands!

I know its a slippery slope, but I have to say-- if you can concieve 14 children without the assistance of reproductive technologies and you'd like to take care of them, that's your business. If you want to adopt 14 children a la Mia Farrow and Miss Jolie-- there are agencies and mechanisms in place that will screen you... but is it really appropriate for someone to use donated sperm and IVF to achieve a family of 14? Can one person really properly care for 14 children (most specifically, 14 children under the age of 8, where 8 of them are *infants*?) It seems like Jon & Kate plus 8 have a hard enough time as it is and there are two of them!

I think that this woman has had her fifteen minutes of fame and she deserves no more and certainly not a book deal a movie deal or any other kind of sponsorship.

Then, speaking of sponsorships... Michael Phelps? Okay, I have to say this kid looked like an idiot from the outset so the pot usage really doesn't come as a shock, but note to people who find themselves on a box of Wheaties: try to lay off the illegal substances or otherwise run afoul of the law, at least until your cereal boxes have expired and/or been replaced by the next sports-figure-flavor of the month. Oh, and by the way, when a corporation has hired you to be their spokesperson based on your squeaky clean image as a sports hero... again, could you lay off the illegal activity? Or, alternatively, don't take endorsement money and then you can legitimately claim that you never wanted to be anybody's "role model".

That's all for now!
Man, I don't drop character 'till I done the DVD commentary

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Chocolate Chip Muffins...

This afternoon, in anticipation of Miss B's after-nap snack I thought I would make mini chocolate chip muffins. I got out my Reynolds foil mini cupcake cups and was chatting with The Mom... as I'm pulling the white paper cupcake cups out of the foil ones, and am thinking... "do these stay with the foil cups? can I use them on their own? they look too thin to use on their own... what a waste of paper!" I ask the Mom-- "Do you ever use these?" and as I'm saying this I finally actually read the packaging which clearly tells you to REMOVE WHITE PAPER INSERTS. The Mom says: "they're inserts?"

Yes, it looks like "not reading instructions" is one of those genetic things that is passed down from generation to generation.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Things You Don't Want to See at 1:38am

On your computer, when doing work for the Job, a message that says: "If you see this message contact your system administrator".

On your Husband's computer: The phrase: "how to wire an electrical box" typed into the Google search window.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Real Time Superbowl Snacking

For starters we're having home-made guacamole and pigs in blankets!

For the Guac:

2 ripe organic Haas Avocado (possibly from Tom Selleck's farm)
1 small jalepeno pepper (diced, with seeds)
lemon juice
lime juice
dash of cumin (to taste)
1 quarter of a white onion, diced
2 large tablespoons of petite cut diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 clove garlic, minced
1 handfull of fresh cilantro leaves (chopped or torn)

I mixed this all up in my fancy stone molcajete from Williams Sonoma and am serving it with Tostitos organic Yellow Corn tortilla chips (which are surprisingly light!)


Also on tap-- pigs in blankets.... they're in the oven.

For later?

Three cheese fondue, mini-meatballs and quesadillas!

Party On!

English French Onion Soup.

Last night I made Jamie's "English" Onion Soup. It was good and easy. Unfortunately, I felt that the recipe as it was was a bit lacking in seasoning. I checked out for other french onion soup recipes for comparison and I ended up adding into the soup some marsala wine and a little bit of dijon mustard (egads!). End result? It was pretty good. Jamie's got you putting grated cheddar ontop of the soup-- I went with both cheddar and gruyere (because my motto is, everything's better with more cheese... much like "everything's better with potatoes"). Served up with a nice caesar salad and it was a good dinner! (Downside? Even by bedtime my eyes were still watering from the onions... oh, well!)