Saturday, July 31, 2004

Cooking by Others

View of the Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn from the FDR Drive on our drive down to TriBeCa

At Cooking by the Book with our souvenir aprons!

Salad with Portabella Piccata

Chicken with couscous & goat cheese flan and zucchini salad

Molten chocolate cake (this was our 3 course meal at Cooking by the Book) Posted by Hello

Our firm had a summer event at Cooking by the Book this past Thursday, where we all got together and were instructed on how to cook various parts of a three-course meal. It was a fun (albeit expensive for the firm) event, and we got souvenir aprons and recipe booklets. There were some really good recipes there - I just want to know what I can substitute for heavy cream in some of the recipes. I was on the dessert team (what a surprise...).

But the cooking event got me wondering... whether food always tastes better when it's made by someone else. After all, I've always thought that sandwiches and salads taste better when someone else makes them. I could make sandwiches with the same ingredients as they use at Subway, but it probably won't taste quite the same. (For example, I had a turkey & provolone cheese sandwich today with tomatoes, onions, sweet peppers, oregano, spinach, and mustard on Italian herb and cheese bread... it was quite good, but I'm sure my making it wouldn't taste as good.) Same goes for salads. And most other dishes too, it seems. At Cooking by the Book, we did some of the cooking ourselves, but since it's a highly controlled event, we didn't really do "all" the cooking by ourselves... that must be why it still tasted so good. :)

The salad was very basic, and the portabella piccata was... interesting. It wasn't bad, but I probably won't try that one myself. The chicken was good, but maybe a little too many spices, and too much ginger for my liking. (I'm glad I wasn't on the chicken team because I am so not into ginger!) The couscous and goat cheese flan was my favorite part of the whole dinner - I would love to make this again, I just need a substitute for the cream! The zucchini salad was also quite good, I could go for that again. :) And the dessert... well... it's hard to have a bad molten chocolate cake. ;)

All in all, I feel so lucky that it's been another excellent food week. I've had lunches at Aquavit, Vong, Bukhara Grill, and the Friars Club... dinners at Daniel and the Cooking by the Book event... yum. :)

Monday, July 26, 2004

Hard at work

Hard at work, backs to Times Square (June 25, 2004) Posted by Hello

I wrote a lot here, but it wouldn't publish. I am not going to type it over. It was about my upcoming week, how there's little time left, my office, and my day. I'll elaborate more another time. :)

8 more years of Bill

I'm currently watching the only part of the Democratic Convention I wanted to see: Bill and Hillary. I would probably be okay with watching John Edwards too, but I really have no interest in the rest of the Convention. I miss Bill Clinton. Why can't we have 8 more years of Bill Clinton? :( He's such a charismatic President. I miss him. Compare Bill Clinton with the current dumb*ss in office - there is no comparison. 8 more years of Bill! (I wish.)

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Heavy Reading

Spent a lot of time today at Shoprite sans iPod. In that time period, I read:
  • US Weekly (cover to cover)
  • People Magazine (cover to cover)
  • Marie Claire (cover stories)
  • Cosmopolitan (half)
  • TV Guide (the color pages)

I've learned all about Lindsay Lohan and Wilmer Valderrama's romance (and how they were previously "friends with benefits"... TMI), Britney's smoking and tons of PDA with her fiance at the hotel in Marina del Rey (ugh), the Prada party and Mischa Barton wearing a $4000 dress to Taco Bell and having a fight with her rich boyfriend, Orlando and Kate (so cute! and so's the dog), Keira and her model guy, Paris Hilton's skirt blowing up in the wind, SATC fights, Angie Harmon's daughter, Sarah Jessica Parker's pretty dress, the Coach charity party... I have celebrity gossip coming out of my ears. I also read 3 issues of old People Magazines in the past 2 days, combined with the People crosswords and two New York magazine crosswords. Lots and lots of heavy reading - don't you agree? :)

Pesky (and Dangerous) Creatures

The last day I wrote, I was all set to write a post about mosquitoes. I read some other blogs and was quite amused that the most recent posts for at least two other people were about mosquitoes.  But when I got to the Blogger page, I completely forgot what I was going to write about. Poor mosquitoes. No. Not really.

I went to a BBQ/clambake at a partner's house on Thursday, and got devoured by mosquitoes. Yes, it was partially my fault for forgetting bug repellent. But I wasn't the only non-DEET wearer! Yet I was the one being bitten alive. I don't know what they could have liked about me... I'm not that attractive. My mom sent me an article today about how mosquitoes will fly up to 40 miles for "a meal." Gross. I am not "a meal." Eww.

I have a huge swollen mosquito bite on my left arm, and five smaller bites on my right upper arm and shoulder. (In fact, four of the five are on my shoulder. Either the mosquitoes hit all at once and had a feast, or the same mosquito went crazy.) The day of the BBQ my ankles and calves wouldn't stop itching. Talking to me at the BBQ after a few hours was an exercise in trying not to laugh. My arms were flailing, my fingers were scratching, and my body looked like it was having a seizure. It was ridiculous. Yet somehow, according to one of my classmates, the mosquitoes were "swarming" around me. Gross. I think they could sense that I'm afraid of insects! I'm going to be marked with red bumps for days longer.

I knew there was a reason I didn't like going outdoors at night in the woods with exposed skin. Now I've paid my dues - I've got the war wounds to prove it. Just have to be on the lookout to make sure I don't get West Nile...

Saturday, July 24, 2004

The Hot List

We've spent a fair amount of time at work the past week figuring out celebrities we think are hot, gorgeous, cute, etc.  (The guys with pictures posted right now are Orlando Bloom, Johnny Depp, Adam Brody, Michael Vartan, and Ben McKenzie. Mmm. On the baseball side, I'd also like to vote for Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez,  Mariano Rivera, Mike Mussina...) It occurred to me at one point that I had no clue who men thought were hot/cute besides the people I had mentioned thus far (Keira Knightley, Jennifer Garner, Katie Holmes, Kristin Davis), and no one was coming up with any more, so I went to the "Top 99 Most Desirable Women in the World" list. Amusing. Anyway, who do you think belongs on the Hot List?

Red and Blue

Manhattan by Night, Tuesday 20 July 2004 Posted by Hello


After a 2+ hour debacle getting home in the rain today and feeling more than a little exhausted, I collapsed after a sushi dinner in the living room and proceeded to watch 3 hours of Stargate on the Sci-Fi Channel. It was excellent. Perfect for a Friday night when the rain won't stop and the week has been extremely draining and all you want to do is escape and sleep. (I still ache from bowling!)

People always seem a little amazed that I'm as into science fiction television and movies as I am. One of my favorite series was Star Trek: TNG, and for that reason (and MXC), I happen to watch some Spike TV. (Which is also why I object to it being "Television for Men," as I watch more Spike TV than I do Lifetime, "Television for Women." What's with the gender labeling?) I watched DS9 and Voyager over the years, and even gave Enterprise a shot, but it started conflicting with other shows and I couldn't suspend reality enough to believe that this ship could really be before Captain Kirk.

I remember watching the movie "Stargate" and liking it, and then we watched it in Spanish class (in Spanish) which was interesting. And then SG-1 came out, and now Atlantis. SG-1 reminds me a lot of TNG. Charismatic captain, fun missions... there's definitely differences between the shows but I find it has a similar energy. I haven't seen both episodes of Atlantis yet (missed half of the first). I do like it, but I think, as of right now, I prefer SG-1. Atlantis reminds me a lot of DS9 in the sense that they have a "space station" feel. There's a lot of room for family stories (not a bad thing if done right) and different stories, so that they (Atlantis and SG-1) don't feel like clones. But anyway, both were good tonight, so that made me happy.

One of the more amusing commercial segments tonight: an advertisement for something (I think Goodyear tires) with Patrick Stewart as the voice-over followed by a trailer for "Thunderbirds" directed by Jonathan Frakes. Nice. :)

Thursday, July 22, 2004


I'm listening to Sarah McLachlan's "Adia" on my new iPod. It needs a name. Love my new iPod. :) It's only been a few hours, but I've been loving it since before I got it.

I'm trying to assemble a list of my favorite songs. I don't have many on it so far. I love so many songs that it's hard to narrow down to "favorites." And hard to remember which ones I forgot to list! So far I have:

Sarah McLachlan - I Will Remember You (the non-live version)
Savage Garden - Affirmation
Billy Joel - We Didn't Start the Fire
Alphaville - Forever Young
Josh Groban - To Where You Are
Chantal Kreviazuk - Feels Like Home
Savage Garden - Truly Madly Deeply

What else should be on the list?

In other news, I left work early today and decided to work from home instead. Yoga and a Taco Bell break made me happy. Not sure what's going on this weekend yet, even though it's almost here. It's unfortunate that it takes me so long to travel back and forth to the city because I feel like it's really limiting my social options. Sigh.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Sunny nights

Check out the clouds!

View from Costco in Edison, New Jersey (June 20, 2004) Posted by Hello
Why am I posting so much? Because I won't be posting tomorrow because I'm going bowling, Thursday because I'm going to be in Scarsdale, and if I don't post Wednesday, I want to make sure I've got it all covered. :) I also wholeheartedly believe in picture therapy (and leaving "real" [text-substantive] posts for another time). Time for sleep... good night!

Summer in the City

Photos from late June and early July of New York City:

Lower Manhattan

The Plaza Hotel

Fountain at Central Park South and Fifth Avenue - recognize it from anywhere?

Manhattan Bridge

Yankee Stadium

View from our office window... way out in the distance you can see the Verrazano Bridge on a clear day!

Rockefeller Center (it could be a better picture if I hadn't gotten the wall...)

"We're having a party..." I wonder - what's going on that I wasn't invited to? :) Posted by Hello

Sunset over Brooklyn

View from the Belt Parkway (July 10, 2004) Posted by Hello

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Dinner at Union Square Cafe

To celebrate my parents' upcoming anniversary, I took them out to dinner at Union Square Cafe tonight. Here's some pictures of the food... my favorite dish from tonight was the tuna tartare appetizer. Unfortunately I didn't remember to take pictures until I had already carved it all up!
I'm out of practice with my instant food picture taking at restaurants (due to my work lunches). Here's the remnants of an excellent "yellowfin tuna tartare with horseradish-mustard vinaigrette, vidalia onions, and avocado salad." The other is fried calamari with spicy anchovy mayonnaise. Both were excellent. Then again I'm an "appetizer person."

A blurry pictures of my tuna tartare... but it gives an idea of what it looked like when it was a perfect circle. It was so good!

Seared wild salmon with spinach, corn, and shiitake mushrooms (left off the balsamic butter... which I tried on the side but it was salty and way too buttery for my taste!).

Seared red snapper with tomato vinaigrette and some other stuff (Daddy's entree).

Grilled marinated Filet Mignon of Tuna with Gingered Vegetables and Wasabi Mashed Potatoes (hidden by the tuna) (Mommy's entree).


Warm chocolate chip cake with raspberry sorbet (supposed to be cherry vanilla ice cream) and cherry compote

The cake was soooooo good!

Peach, raspberry and plum sorbets

Mmmmm sorbet.... I love peach.

At the restaurant

Happy 34th Anniversary!

The 3 of us

Wow, that cake got devoured!

Inside the dining room

Yummy desserts are GONE :)

Leaving Union Square Cafe... till next time! Posted by Hello

Choices, choices

Seafood tanks at HSF in Chinatown (Why did I write medicine tanks when I first started writing the caption?) Lots of choices. Posted by Hello
Choices, choices. Lots of choices to be made in the next few weeks. Corporate or litigation? iPod regular or iPod mini? (Decision being made as we speak.) Where to go to lunch in the remaining three weeks? Life is all about choices. (Stating the obvious.) I still hold to my philosophy that whatever happens is what is supposed to happen, and that ultimately things will turn out to be the best choices. There is a reason for everything. Of course, this is more about the big choices, not whether or not I should get the special edition of Manchurian Candidate on DVD.
So far today, I've been to Best Buy, where I bought Katie Holmes's "Pieces of April." I wanted to see that last year (it was last year, right?) and never got around to it, and it was only $10. Best Buy is out of iPods (15 gb), and different stores are selling them for different prices! But they're all out of stock anyway. Best Buy is one of my favorite stores. Love it there. :)
Anyway, what are the essential DVDs one needs for a good collection?

Good Ol' Saturday

A beautiful day for a baseball game ... even though the home team lost. Mets-Phillies today. (7/17) Posted by Hello
Now that I've gotten all the test posts out of the way (initial test, disclaimers, first photo post), I can get down to the good stuff. More from me after a good night's sleep. :)

The Hershey's Taxi Trio

Three cab-driving Hershey bears would like to take you for a ride... :) In a story I would write about them, the little bears are all good friends who work for the same taxi company. Look at the expressions on their faces - it's so precious! Posted by Hello
Picasa/Hello is awesome... and posting pictures to a blog is invaluable!!! Much better than other image hosting sites blocking the pictures on other online journals. I'm quite impressed by how wonderfully everything fits together. Yay!

Ground Rules

Well, that seemed awfully simple for a first post. (Simple to post, simple to read.) I've decided to make the leap from Xanga to Blogger mostly because I am sort of a Google groupie. (How can you not be?) So, after having a blog that (almost) no one knew about (it was sort of the "I won't deny it if you find it and ask but I won't tell you of my own volition so have fun searching" type), I think it's time to make a change. So here I am. :)
This is not a private journal or a confessional, so if you don't know me (or even if you do) and are looking for juicy details of my life, you probably won't find them here. (Are there really any "juicy details" to my life?) Also, if you've read Doris Lessing's "The Golden Notebook," you probably understand a little more of what this means to me. This is just one notebook with which I will document my life. I haven't yet defined the contours of what it will be, but since the boundaries of a notebook often change over time, perhaps it's better that way. ;-)
With all that said, hopefully the logistics are now out of the way and with that disclaimer done, I can get things started when I'm a little more awake. (Maybe?) Good night!

Testing, 1, 2, 3

Further fracturing myself into another notebook (Would Doris Lessing be proud?) ... so, is this thing on?