Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2009 Resolutions

This should be my last post of 2008. Resolutions for 2009.

I made a lot of resolutions last year, most of which I didn't keep. Hopefully this year is better.

1. Manage inboxes more effectively. Get work inbox under 100 and get gmail inbox under 2000 (that's a third of what it is now).

2. Do something active every day. Preferably the 30 day shred (when it comes), DDR (when it comes) or Wii Fit or Wii Sports. Or the gym we pay for...

3. Eat healthier. Take pictures to keep to the goal. Take vitamins daily. Remember to fill prescriptions regularly.

4. Clean the apartment. Get rid of coffee table before the end of the first quarter.

5. Blog at least once a week.

Hopefully I can keep these. Happy new year!!

(Edited to add: I just looked at last year's resolutions after I made these. They're like the same resolutions! And I resolved that in January I would buy a sunrise alarm clock. It's still on my to-do list! This is insane! Anyway, happy new year!)

2008 Recap II

New Years posts, recap part two!

As I mentioned in the previous post, I didn't keep track well enough to figure out my favorite meals or restaurants of 2008, but I can do a restaurant recap of my own. We keep a running list of the restaurants we've been to so I'll pick every 10 restaurants and mention them here as a sampling of the places we've been to this year.


1. 99 Cent Pizza: We live near the 99 cent pizza place by the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel, which ends up in a lot of the cheap eats lists. The pizza is fine, not the best pizza I've ever had, but it's certainly cheaper these days than most pizza!

2. Beach Club: The Beach Club restaurant was the restaurant in our condo-resort in Maui. We had some free dollars to use there as part of our hotel package so we went there for a lunch and a breakfast. Lunch was better than breakfast. It was OK, but I wouldn't have gone there without the free offer.

3. Brooklyn Museum Cafe: We went to the Brooklyn Museum this summer to see the Murakami exhibit and dropped by the cafe for dinner. It wasn't cheap but it was nice getting Asian dishes at a museum cafe. Some of the salads were pretty good.


4. Cantina de San Angel: I believe this cantina is the "quick service" or "counter service" place at the Mexico exhibit at Epcot, and not the sit-down place (which I don't think we visited this time). It was a nice snack that I believe we had on our "tapas" day where we attempted to eat small meals all over the Epcot world showcase. We had some tacos, some Japanese food, etc.

5. Coral Reef: Another Disney spot! I had been to Coral Reef many times with my family before, but the quality had gone down significantly since the last time we were there (10 years ago). It either got worse or my standards got higher, but I think it's mostly the first. I thought it was just OK this time. I would probably pick somewhere else next time.

6. Esca: Esca. Crudo. Delicious. All of the crudo were so good. That's what I remember most. Especially the razor clams. The whole crudo sampler was fantastic. I would definitely go back for that.

7. Hallo Berlin: I love Hallo Berlin. Reminds me of our brief stopover in Germany and our visit to Sachsenhausen. Mmmm.

8. Kodama: Kodama is our local go-to Japanese place. We love everything, especially the potato salad which we get every time.

9. Le Madeleine: This is a sad one. We used to live near Le Madeleine. Then the landlord evicted them. He had been trying to evict them for years, under the pretext of building a condo building. He finally kicked them out earlier this year once the court challenges were over, and a few months later, what ended up in its place? Not construction for a new condo building, not a demolition team, but a NEW French restaurant?! Upsetting. No, we haven't been there. I don't want to hold it against the new owner without knowing whether or not they were part of the mess, but I just don't feel good about this.

10. Mex in the City: JFK airport, pre-Jetblue food court. I like tacos so it was fine, but I can't wait to try the new places!

11. Orchid Caribbean: Orchid is another neighborhood place. We worried earlier this year that they had closed down (like so many other places around here) but it turns out that it was really for good news and they had a baby (according to the sign). I love the food at Orchid and its laid-back vibe. It's like a real break from the city.

12. Popeye's: I like Popeye's but I'm not sure what else needs to be said here. I think we went here in connection with the Superbowl but I'm not sure.

13. Rosa Mexicano: Yummy tableside guacamole. The last time we were there, we ate $42 worth of guacamole. Yes, $42. We like the one in Union Square.

14. Tangierine Cafe: The quick service place at the Morocco showcase at Epcot. This was a great place to stop for lunch (and we made it just before the rush). Couscous, tabouli, good food. Highly recommend for lunch at Epcot.

15. Wing Shing: Why am I always talking about restaurants closing? This place in Brooklyn got DOH-ed (which was bizarre because the inspection just before had been really, really good). Our family used to go here all the time, and I have so many pictures of food here. I'm not sure if it's now reopened but it was closed for awhile.

16. Yum Yum Too (not really 10 later, but last on the list): The latest branch of the Hell's Kitchen Yum Yum chain, we really liked this one. But I think it's now closed for renovations?

There's the recap!

Photos: Golden tofu salad with hijiki and carrots from Brooklyn Museum Cafe; soft tacos from Cantina de San Angel; Japanese potato salad from Kodama; tacos from Mex in the City; platter from Tangierine Cafe.

2008 Recap

To continue my new years theme, my 2008 recap, part one!

2008 was a mixed bag. It was a great year in many ways - starting to plan our wedding and continuing to plan our life together; thankful for home, family, health, work and the people in our lives; trips to Disney and to Maui; Obama's election and finally moving out of the dark ages. In many other ways, it was also a really difficult year, most notably to the country with the bad economy hitting more people and closer to home than I ever expected. On to the recap:

Movies/shows I saw in the theaters in 2008:
Kung Fu Panda
Iron Man
Spamalot
Wall-E

Vacations/trips in 2008:
Orlando, FL
Chicago, IL (for work)
Washington, DC
Maui, HI
Milton, NY

Books read (for the first time) in 2008 (since this is a new category for me, I really can't remember what I've read!):
Paper Moon
Treason by the Book

I wish I could do something like favorite dishes of 2008, favorite new restaurants of 2008 or favorite TV episodes of 2008, but this would have required advanced planning. Maybe next year. More recap to follow (as I eat pretzels and watch the Project Runway marathon).

NYE Snapshots

Some snapshots of New Years Eve in Times Square:


(20-09 glasses)


(happy 2009 from pepsi!)


(people sitting on the curb in times square at 10:30 am - I think they're crazy...)


(ball drop site)


(the crowd at 1:30 pm)


(are they really going to wait there like that for 10.5 more hours?)


(lots of people pushing and shoving just to get into the holding pens to wait like this...)


(more pepsi sponsored new years)
happy new year!!!

Seeker

Why am I still awake after 3?! I should just go to sleep so I can get up early, go to work, and leave by noon(ish)!

Anyway, it sounds like it's going to be a rough New Years Eve for the people sticking it out in Times Square tomorrow night. They predict a wind chill of 8. And it's supposed to be snowy and rainy all day. I was thinking I might have worked up my running ability to be able to do the Central Park run this new year, but I haven't, and now I'm kind of thankful since it's going to be so cold and disgusting out!

In other news, I have gotten sucked into Legend of the Seeker and am now up to episode 5. I seem to watch any TV shows that deal with magic. I watched Charmed all the time on TNT during law school (every day?) and even watched Valentine on Hulu this season (which was like Charmed but worse). I love magic. Harry Potter magic, Charmed magic, any magic. So even if the show isn't great, I'll watch it. But I really liked Legend of the Seeker!

I really need to go to sleep. This is ridiculous...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Random Thoughts

Some random thoughts on this last week of 2008:
 
1.  I can't believe it's already the end of the year.  Where did 2008 go??  I'll be doing my annual recap at some point, but it just seems like this year went by incredibly quickly.  Just yesterday I was making resolutions and doing my recap of 2007.  This is insane.  I need to find a way to fit more into the year and get time to slow down a little more.
 
2.  I am ready for the tourists to go home.  They are clogging the streets by the office, making it very difficult to get around and to get lunch.  Holiday week is always the worst week of the year around here..
 
3.  Last night, when we returned from Christmas weekend, our entire floor of the apartment building smelled like (to me) Singapore chow mei fun.  It smelled good.  Much, much better to smell like food than cigarette smoke.
 
4.  I have fallen very behind on my language learning goals for this year.  Oh well.  I don't see any international travel in the schedule for next year (and if so, not very far... the whole wedding thing) so I guess I have some more time...
 
5.  Judging by the setups in Times Square, Nivea is apparently sponsoring New Years Eve.  Wheee.  I heard they were/are giving out free Chapstick at some point.
 
6.  I wish Just Salad were closer to the office.  The chopped salad I got is fine, but it's not as good as Just Salad.  And I think last night's Carrabbas salad may have been better.
 
7.  We're not DVR-ing anything again tonight!  I think now I can count the number of days in December without DVR-ing on two hands!  That's crazy!  Before that, it was so long before we went ONE DAY without DVR-ing something.  But still a lot to watch before the January onslaught of Lost, American Idol, Psych, Kyle XY and other shows...
 
8.  I wish I could say that my 2008 pictures were fully uploaded and in order by the end of the year, but I don't think I'll be able to.  I also cannot say that I kept to any of my inbox deleting resolutions from last year.  They continue to explode.  Help!
 
9.  I also wish that I could say that the apartment is cleaner and more unpacked.  But I can't.  But I cleaned my nighttable up last night!  Maybe Chinese New Year instead of regular new years...
 
10.  Why aren't there more Bath & Body Works stores in Manhattan?  (And why must the closest one be so far away?)  And why must I be addicted to their semiannual sale?  If anyone's wondering, they brought back the discontinued white cherryblossom lotion today...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bizarre

Dinner tonight was bizarre.

Not the dinner itself... that was good. (Chana masala and a chicken curry, along with bhelpoori.)

It was this bizarre situation: At one point, there were only 2 tables in the restaurant. We found out later that the people at the other table not only live at the same intersection that we do, but they are getting married in the same month & year. And we found out all of this through listening to their conversation with a new table that came in.

Now if they said they were having a destination wedding also, I would be really freaked out by the similarities. (They might be, but I have no idea!)

Anyway, I can't believe it's Christmas this week. It occurred to me today as I was walking through the snow (before it turned to sleet) that it's only a few days away! When did that happen?! I realize that, because I'm working so much, every day seems the same and has blurred from one to the next without any holiday distinction, but seriously?! It was just Thanksgiving. How is it already Christmas? And how did it take until the 19th for me to realize Christmas was coming up soon? I haven't done anything! I was supposed to write out all these cards, do all these gifts, get the gifts for the people in the building, etc., and it's the last weekend to do it (and I'll be working)! This is absolutely crazy. I can't believe how busy December always is. Why are holidays at the end of the calendar year? Can only deal with one at a time...

And what's going to happen with the Treats Truck? Will the candy cane cupcakes be gone after Christmas? I haven't tried them yet because I didn't see them in the window today and every other time I wanted to get a snack I didn't realize I was after the winter hours until it was too late. Is it possible that today's holiday cookies are my only holiday treat trip? Nooo!

But they were yummy. And made me feel more festive. And yes, I got the cookies after I realized the whole "Christmas is next week" thing. Otherwise, I would feel even more dumb than I did after some of the really stupid things I did today.

Time to sleep to hopefully regrow some brain cells and get up early enough to exercise (at least a little bit)!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Cab

I completely forgot to mention in the last post:

- I got the same cab driver that I got last time. Who remembered me.
And when I say "last time" I don't mean yesterday. It's been over a
week. He must have a great memory.

There was something else I was going to say but I don't remember it.
My memory must not be as good as his!

Little Fox

Random late night thoughts:

1. Year end crunch. Insanely busy. Lots of late nights. You would
never guess we were in a bad economy!

2. Everyone said over the summer that we were due for a bad winter.
Watching the Weather Channel, I think it's here.

3. Companies should implement naptime or at least permit it. It would
increase productivity and improve health.

4. I still don't not hate wedding planning. Does that make sense?

5. My gmail theme is zen (perhaps it's tea house in the English
version but it's zen in French). I love watching the cute little fox
go about his day! What they need to do is combine zen with the tree
theme to give little fox some weather and variety in his life.

So tired. Just winding down after a shower before going to sleep. Good night!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cacik

I'm dumb.  I like to take pictures of the food I order for delivery when I'm at work, and I forgot tonight and finished the entire cacik appetizer without even thinking about it.  Oops.

Orchids

I love the scent of the Bath & Body Works enchanted orchid soap. I have a bunch of enchanted orchid products in my closet, but haven't used them until now. It's a beautiful scent. And what I loved first was the color of the soap!
I'm not sure that the real one looks like this one does in the picture, but it's close. It's just such a nice shade. And since I'm thinking a lot about colors these days, I keep noticing all the ones I like. This one, I like. :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Yams

I am always asking this question, so if you know, I would love to know! What is the difference between yams and sweet potatoes? I keep hearing that they are different but the canned food people don't seem to think so...

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Shoes

It's not very nice for people to throw things... but the video of Bush dodging the shoes being thrown at him is very funny. Quick reflexes on the first shoe.

Frostbite

That poor man on the Weather Channel!

He's in Fargo, ND in the middle of the blizzard, and before they cut to him, the person in the weather center was like, "How are you holding up against frostbite?"

Sure, while you're toasty and warm in your studio, you're making the man do a report from outside in the blizzard and white-out where the wind chills are more than 20 below zero... and you're joking with him about how his face is doing with frostbite? He can't even zip his coat all the way up or wear a scarf or face mask because he has to do the TV report! Don't make him talk anymore! Let him go inside to warm up before his face falls off! The "cold" advisories we used to get in Chicago said you could get frostbite if you were outside for minutes with exposed skin. Poor man.

He's finally done talking. "Try to stay inside as much as possible." Then stop making him report on the blizzard!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Havarti

For lunch today, I had a smoked turkey and havarti sandwich on a baguette with arugula, shaved red onions and dijon mayo.
 
I have never gotten sandwiches from this place before, but wasn't in the mood for soup or salad or paninis... it took me forever to make up my mind.
 
The good:
The inside of the sandwich was good (the turkey, cheese and vegetables).  The seasoning was good.  I'm not a big mayo fan, especially on turkey sandwiches, but since it was dijon, it was a little better.
 
The not so good:
The baguette!  I had to tear it apart with my teeth and it was nothing like the fresh, soft baguette that you get on the baguette sandwiches at Pret.  I think it was in the fridge case for a little too long.  But outside of the bread, the rest of it was pretty good!
 
[Picture to come.]

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Milk

I'm drinking milk.
 
I realize that for most people that is nothing shocking, but I don't really drink milk.
 
Except when I'm eating really spicy food.  Or warm chocolate chip cookies.
 
I ordered some larb gai for dinner, and it's not usually that spicy from this place.  But today it was.  It was delicious but very red and very spicy.  Therefore, I'm drinking milk.  So rare!

Leverage

I am really liking the new TNT show, Leverage. If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Illinois Politics

Are you kidding me?  Blagojevich and friends were trying to sell Obama's Senate seat to the highest bidder?  What is wrong with people that they don't think they'll get caught?  It's like the whole Edwards affair thing -- I don't care what he does or who he does it with, but to run for president with that lurking in the background?  How can you not think you'll get caught?  And in this selling of the Senate seat business... are they just trying to play into the stereotype of corrupt IL/Chicago politics?!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Chill

Woohoo, the temperature has gone up 6 degrees and the wind chill has gone up 8 degrees since the time I left for work!  Now it's 26 degrees with a wind chill of 17.  Wheee... Time to go get lunch in the cold....

Wedding Thoughts

It's taken us almost 3 months to get the first step of our wedding "planning" done and since I have had a lot of time to think about weddings, it has just made me more annoyed by some aspects of society and gender roles.  These don't really apply to us, but the more I read about other people's stories, the more it makes me wonder.
 
For example, why is it the "bride's day"?  A wedding is about two people joining together, and joining their families together, so why is it "her" day?  It should be "their" day or "our" day, not "her" day.  He should be just as much a part of it as anyone else.
 
Why should it be the bride doing all the wedding planning?  I can understand if that's the choice you make as a couple, but why is it assumed that the bride will do all the work and that the groom only has to help out if he chooses and/or if he has the time?
 
I'm not even going near the name issue.  I think it's a personal choice and people should do what they want to do, but I don't understand why some men pressure their future wives to change their name.  Why does the woman have to change her name?  Why not the man?  Why not both?  I understand that it's "tradition" but I don't like the expectation that a change will automatically happen.  If a woman chooses to take her husband's name, I think that's fine, but she shouldn't be forced or bullied or guilted into it. 
 
Anyway, enough ranting.  Back to work.

Holidays




What Your Thanksgiving Meal Says About You



When it comes to the holidays, you do things your own way ... and love it. You do whatever feels right to you.



You see the holidays as a time to think about what's important to you. It's a good time to reflect and regroup.



You like the more adult aspects of the holidays - parties, cocktails, and having time off from work.



During the holidays, you are likely to feel generous. At your worst, you feel exhausted.



You consider yourself to be a bit of a purist, and you're proud of it.



You tend to spend your holidays doing everything and anything. You really get into the holiday spirit.

This quiz result is kind of all over the place...
Part of it is true (I do reflect a lot at the holidays and I do appreciate the time off from work), but what does it mean to be a "purist" at the holidays? The last paragraph also doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Hmm.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Insurance

Someone just called into QVC and told the host he could sell a dead man life insurance.

Um...

Not exactly what they were expecting to hear...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Loud

There is clearly some emergency going on that this emergency vehicle (I think a fire engine) is trying to get to, and its horn is blaring and has been blaring nonstop for the past 2-3 minutes.  Why won't people just get out of the way?!  It's really, really loud.

Gear

Am I the only one amused by the recent Obama emails with the limited edition 4 year calendar and the limited edition holiday mug?  I think it's funny.  And I'll probably get them too!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Pre-Black Friday

I didn't see it, but I can't believe the line at the local Best Buy is at least 100 people and it's not even midnight.  And the sales aren't even that good this year!
 
I miss the old Black Fridays.  This new mania is just not the same.  Back then there was this shared experience of waiting for amazing (free!) sales that just isn't around anymore now that it's gotten SO popular.  People used to get there early but didn't wait in tents overnight.  And the stores used to open later.  I remember being on line waiting for Circuit City to open at 7 and I was only about 20 people back and we had a great time even though it was freezing.  Now, there's people on line there and it isn't even midnight.  It's just become so ... business-like to go Black Friday early shopping instead of fun!
 
I'm a big Black Friday shopper but I'm not planning to go to Best Buy or Circuit City early this year.  The sales just aren't good enough for it to feel worth it.  Target on other hand... Target's the only one that's kept pace with last year's sales.  (Not that last year's sales were as good as the old days, but have to start somewhere.)  And I love Target.
 
Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving! 

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Blender

Umm.

The QVC host just went into an explanation for why you should buy this special gold jewelry.

Paraphrased, her reasoning basically went like this, "You can tell a lot about someone by the gift they give you. Gold jewelry is a special gift. If someone gets you gold jewelry, you know they think you're someone special. It's not like if someone gets you a blender for Christmas. If they get you a blender (not that anything's wrong with a blender), they see you as a practical person. It's not like if they buy you this gold jewelry."

Huh?

I get that there is a difference between a blender and jewelry (and yes, the blender was the example she used). But if a blender means you're a practical person, then jewelry means... what? I don't get it. How do you complete the comparison? If you get jewelry, you're not a practical person? Do people not want to be practical? Confused...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Naps

I don't want to rewind just for this, but I swear one of the L'Occitane co-hosts just told the other to go take a "nappy-poo"...

OK, I rewound it.

She did say it.

And people wonder why I leave QVC on when I work.

Teenagery

The people on QVC (other than currently having a conversation about the word or non-word "teenagery") just talked about how you should buy this L'Occitane stuff because it's more "fun" than regular soap. And how if people stay at your house during the holidays instead of at a hotel, you should get them better bath products as a treat for staying at your place instead. Maybe it's because we don't entertain guests often (small NYC apartment and all), but do people really go out and buy special soaps just for visitors to use during the holidays?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Away

We spent the weekend up in Milton at the Buttermilk Falls Inn, and it was amazing. We left less than 12 hours ago, but I already miss it. I miss the ducks that followed us around the grounds, the llamas and the goats, the view of the river, the cute little inn, the spa, and especially how relaxing and peaceful it all was (even if it was 10 degrees colder than at home). It's so sad that it's already back to the work week.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Salmon Cake


I'm renaming the "Randomly Chosen Screensaver Picture" label to "Snapshots."

It may still be randomly chosen by the screensaver, but I like the name Snapshots better.

So, for this snapshot from my life...

July 2008. At sea somewhere in the northern Pacific Ocean. This was my lunch entree. I think it was a salmon cake tower on top of pad thai. I remember it being very good. All the food on this Holland America cruise was really good. I want to go on a cruise again. And I love looking at old pictures.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Kota

Just saw an ad for this new Kota the Triceratops toy from Playskool.

The thing is HUGE. Kids can sit on it, feed it leaves, etc. But it's gigantic. You have to have a decently large house to have one of those!

Overpass


I'm completely exhausted from walking all day (and it's almost 2 am), but I'm trying to post more consistently, so here's another random photo of the day.

It's from Hyde Park in Chicago near the University of Chicago. I used to see this overpass every day that I drove back from school, but I don't even remember taking these pictures. (According to the data, it's from May 2004.) Looking through the set of pictures, I also don't remember the area by the law school being so green! The last couple of times I've been in Chicago, it's been cloudy and gray.

I try to take photos of the "everyday" life we're living, but sometimes there are little details that you never have pictures of because you never think about taking something so ordinary. Yet, years later, looking at the pictures, it brings back the everyday, the ordinary, the routine. Looking at something familiar is kind of nice sometimes, even if it's just an overpass from a familiar drive.
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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pom Wonderful

Today was day one of Red Mango's Pom Wonderful flavor. Of course we weren't going to miss it!



It was really, really good. We had the pomegranate flavor at tangysweet in DC over the summer, and were wondering how long it would take before it landed at Red Mango and Pinkberry. It's not an overwhelming flavor, but I liked that it wasn't. Yum. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Annoyed

Today has been, for lack of a better word to describe it, "annoying."

Maybe it was a reflection of the weather, but everything was annoying today! To illustrate, today I was annoyed:

- when I woke up and read the emails waiting for me on my blackberry

- that it was dark, cold, damp and/or rainy all day long

- that I have felt sick and/or weak and/or weary day after day, causing me not to go to the gym for over a week

- by all the work I have to do and all the work that just doesn't seem to get done

- that I had to go to Europa for lunch to avoid the rain (but luckily it's in our building) instead of someplace more exciting

- that when I went to Europa for lunch, some girl slapped her umbrella around getting my entire suit jacket wet, since I deliberately went to Europa so that I wouldn't get wet

etc, etc, etc. There's more where that came from.

The bright spots were no line at the bank when I went to deposit a check in the morning and the serenity at an odd moment of the day when I sat alone in a conference room waiting for a meeting that ended up not happening but where it was quiet and peaceful and I got a lot of work done (despite an active movie shoot on that floor).

Hopefully tomorrow is a better day. I'm feeling a little less annoyed now after watching Eli Stone...

Oh Well

It was so disappointing when I realized that tomorrow (work day tomorrow) wasn't Friday. Sigh.

Victoria


Last summer, we went on a cruise to Alaska. The last port before disembarkation was Victoria. I hadn't been to many places in Canada prior to the Victoria stop -- none of the major cities, only a few cities on the eastern coast of Canada (on other cruises).

I really liked Victoria. Unfortunately this was an evening stop and (a) many places were already closed, like the museums and aquariums, (b) it was our last night on the cruise and there was major packing to be done and (c) we had to get back to the photo center on the ship to pick up the photos we ordered before they closed. Therefore, I didn't get to do much in Victoria other than some walking around, photography (golden hour, amazing light), and general soaking in of the city. I think some of my relatives went to a pub and had beers, but I guess they didn't have anything to do back on the ship. All this means is I'll have to go back!

I would love to go on a cruise right now. They are so incredibly relaxing. People do everything for you and are always willing to help. The food (at least on ours) was fantastic (and all included!). You can catch up on sleep (I napped a LOT). There's just something nice about being at sea and resting. I could really use this now (as I'm working...).

Mmm... maybe I'll daydream about cruises to the Mexican Riviera. Sigh.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Explosion

I learned tonight that you can actually learn things from commercials!

I think it was a commercial for a cell phone company (AT&T?) that says that if you don't thaw out a turkey enough and then fry it, it can explode. I just checked online and it sounds like that's true. I never knew.

Of course, I don't know what it says for the advertising that I remember the lesson about the fryer more than who the ad was for...

Update

An update to yesterday's post...

Today brought no progress.

Sigh.

I realize we're working with "island time" but it still makes me anxious.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rollercoaster

Wedding planning is a bit of a rollercoaster.

Maybe it's not bad for everyone, but we have been trying to finalize the venue, date and pricing for over 7 weeks. We finally made some progress tonight (compared to the past 7 weeks), but it would have been nice to be at this place weeks ago. Part of it was internal issues at the venue which we had no control over (at least 4 weeks of the delay), but still frustrating that we couldn't get some of this stuff done earlier. But not going to stress about it anymore because there's no point. Time's gone and complaining about it will just waste more.

Hoping tomorrow brings more progress!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Gossip Girl 2.10

Not even 10 minutes into tonight's Gossip Girl, and already 2 scenes in our neighborhood!

I remember a month ago when they were taping in the area and I went looking for the filming, but couldn't find it. Now I've seen the scenes. Woohoo!

Headlines

I contemplated starting a new feature last week with a "Headline of the Day."  The reason I thought of it was because of the headline that the GOP was sending a lawyer to Alaska to get Sarah Palin's clothes.  (A lawyer? To get clothes? Seriously? But if they're going to do that, I'd go... sounds like a nice thing to get paid to do...)
 
The story gets odder, apparently, according to a new AP report.
 
Sarah Palin apparently spent the weekend looking through her clothes to see what belongs to the RNC.  (This after some press conference where she said all the clothes she had now were her own and that they weren't sending anyone up to get her clothes.)  Her dad told reporters that she was "frantically" sorting it all out and that things happen, such as kids losing underwear.
 
Why did the RNC need to buy Sarah Palin's children underwear?  Why would they need to buy anyone underwear?  Was their current underwear not good enough?  Could they not buy their own?  If that's true, it's completely ridiculous to think that the RNC went out to buy underwear... And their claims that the clothes would go to charity?
 
And why was she frantically searching through clothes if she supposedly left everything behind when the campaign was over and things were getting inventoried?  How much could there be to sort through?  She couldn't possibly have taken all $150,000+ of clothes back to Alaska, could she?
 
Confused.
 
The article also mentions the elementary school her daugher attends and how the secret service is no longer there.  But when was her daughter in school?  I thought we saw her constantly on the campaign trail to the point where we wondered if she even went to school.
 
Just bizarre.

Mid-afternoon Thoughts

1.  I love split pea soup.  Yum.  I didn't know until I went to Cafe Europa that there existed both yellow split pea and green split pea soup.  I love green split pea soup...
 
2.  Being at work when not feeling well is not fun!  And I could use my Poang chair here at the office...
 
3.  I thought for sure that Joe must go.  His behavior during the campaign was despicable.  He said he wouldn't go after Obama personally and he did, even questioning his patriotism.  If it's true that Obama wants him to stay in the caucus (which he said he would only do if he could keep his precious chairmanship), I have to think he must have a good reason...
 
4.  Cold weather is back.  Wheee...
 
5.  I wish my office light switch had a remote.  There are multiple times a day when the sun shines really brightly on my computer area (which I love), and I want to turn off the artificial light, but it requires going up to the light switch.  I'm not against that, except half the time, 1 minute after I sit back down, the sun is gone. 

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Berlin


Mmm... from Hallo Berlin in May. We really should get back there sometime. Good food, good beer.
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Saturday, November 08, 2008

Stats

Looking at my web stats for the first time in awhile, and not surprisingly, the page loads spiked on Tuesday. I only wrote like 30 posts because of the election.

Apparently most of the search traffic came from people looking for those ridiculous CNN holograms. Which weren't really holograms?

Assorted Thoughts

A few assorted thoughts on this Saturday night:

1. I'm sick. It started Thursday night and I have felt like crap all day. I don't really know what it is and am not very good at identifying the symptoms, other than "sick." At least not right now.

2. Since I am sick, I basically slept and watched TV all day. That's probably good for the DVR since it was almost full of shows we hadn't watched yet. Sleep is just good for everyone.

3. I can't believe Norm Coleman is trying to force them not to do a recount. The vote separation is so close that a manual recount really could change the outcome. Of course, that's exactly why he's acting like this, even though you can be sure that if it were the other way around, he would be yelling for one.

4. I wish the apartment could just clean up itself.

5. The soups at the Ollie's by our apartment are gigantic bowls. I got won ton mein (spelling?) when we went yesterday to try to help with my sickness and the bowl was gigantic. That dish reminds me of Hong Kong because when I went as a teenager, we had it for breakfast daily. I like that, a big bowl of noodle soup for breakfast. It's a nice start to the day. Nowadays, I just eat half a bagel.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Pho

It's a bit of a problem when you're not feeling well and thinking about what you want for dinner, and what you want happens to be all the way out in Chicago.
 
Our favorite pho place out there made the most delicious chicken pho, with tender lean cuts of chicken in a heavenly broth.  I loved getting that when I was sick (except this was pre-smoking ban Chicago, so I would go out when sick to get some healthy curing soup but couldn't breathe because of the cigarettes).  I miss it and it would be perfect on a damp fall day like today when I'm not feeling well.
 
But it's in Chicago.  And I'm not in Chicago.  And I'm searching online menus and can't find an adequate replacement.  I don't want to travel far (like to Chinatown) because I'm not feeling well, but the only thing I can find that might get close is one of the Thai soups, but that's not pho.  Sigh.  I guess I could settle for tom yum or something, but it's different...
 
Oh well.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Bus

I can't remember where I saw this headline (and I wish I could), and I certainly can't take credit for it, but "Governor Palin, Meet Bus."  It's not even 48 hours from the end of the election and the McCain staffers are clearly trying to kill her career.  Not that I don't enjoy seeing the interesting things that come out of it (especially considering her campaign tactics), and not that I'm surprised seeing as how "unity" didn't even make it to the election, but I do find it odd that they are trying to push all the blame to her... when they're the ones that picked her.  They could have avoided the whole thing by actually having a vetting process, but if they did, who knows if we would be in the wonderful place we are today.
 
Anyway, in the past 24 hours, we have learned, if Newsweek and Fox News are to be believed:
 
- That the Neiman Marcus/Saks shopping spree may have been more than $150,000 as previously reported (and the whole thing was hidden from McCain)
 
- That Palin wanted to give a VP concession speech which is not traditional and was vetoed
 
- That Palin thought Africa was a country and not a continent
 
- That Palin did not know what countries were part of NAFTA
 
- That aides tried to prepare her for the Couric & Gibson interviews but she refused (great idea, that one was)
 
- That some campaign people went to visit her for the first time and she appeared in a towel to greet them
 
... and I'm sure there's more to come.
 
And it's bizarre but this morning I was thinking about how much fun it would be to go on an American road trip right now.  I think it was prompted by some report from Mike Seidel that MSNBC was airing where he was in North Dakota under a blizzard warning.  So it makes no sense.  And it's cold in many places...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Time

It's 4:47 pm and it's DARK OUTSIDE?!
 
The way it looks outside, it feels like it should be so late already, but it's not even 5.
 
It's still so amazing today.  Feels like a brand new day.

Postscript III

NBC is calling McCain the "apparent winner" of Montana.

Have they been calling them "apparent winners" all night and I just haven't noticed?

I was hoping to take Montana. I wonder how close it is.

So that leaves North Carolina and Missouri...

NYC

Looking at the NYC numbers (according to CNN):

Manhattan: Obama 85-14
Bronx: Obama 88-12
Queens: Obama 75-25
Brooklyn: Obama 79-20
Staten Island: McCain 52-47

We have some work to do in my home borough. :) But we did get a Democrat into Vito Fossella's old seat by a pretty decent margin. That's good news.

Postscript II

NBC News calls Indiana for Obama.

(Alaska was called too, after the race was over, but while it wasn't a runaway, I didn't think we'd get Alaska.)

So that leaves Montana, North Carolina and Missouri. Who would have thought this 2 years ago.

Change

"Change has come to America."

"Out of many, we are one."

"Yes we can."

This has been such an incredible night. One of those moments in history that I don't think you ever forget.

And since this probably got lost below:


Millions of people making a difference, voting and hoping for change.

Victory

I need the text of Obama's walk through history speech tonight. It was amazing. Something to keep for the history books.

Puppy

Obama mentions the puppy for his daughters in the victory speech!  Fantastic.

Helping Out

I'm curious to see how my donations did. :)

Obama - Yay!

Elwyn - Not called yet. I think Michele "Democrats are anti-American" Bachmann is still ahead.

South Dakota abortion ban - MSNBC said it failed; CNN hasn't called it yet.

Dan Seals - CNN says he lost. Boo.

Al Franken - Still tied.

Bob Lord - CNN says he lost. Darn.

Eric Massa - CNN says he won. Yay!

Darcy Burner - This one's not going to be over for a while.

Gary Trauner - CNN says he lost. Boo.

Mark Begich - Polls just closed but I hope we're saying goodbye to Ted Stevens.

Jim Martin - Not called yet but it looks like we're losing...

No on 8 - Not called yet. I don't like the way the percentages look right now, but it doesn't look like SF has reported yet...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

First Family

The red and black color coordinated outfits of the new first family are awesome.  Mostly the fact that they're coordinated.

Ice

The Rockefeller Center ice rink with the NBC map looks like it's melting since it's kind of warm.

Postscript I

And we get Nevada! Thanks Nevada!

(And it's really sad about their field director. So young.)

McCain's Concession

Thoughts on McCain's concession:

- It is the only thing that has made me stop crying so far.

- McCain sounds more sincere than he has sounded in weeks. And he's blinking a lot less than in any of the big public speeches or debates recently.

- At least he tried to stop them from booing such a historic moment.

- I find it interesting that his concession speech comes in his home state... which hasn't been called yet. [Interesting note: MSNBC calls Arizona for McCain during the speech.]

- We got another "my friends"!

- Part of me wonders if McCain is glad to be himself again. And if he will go back to 2000 McCain.

- It was actually a really good speech. Thanks John.

Tears of Joy

This is such an incredible time. I haven't stopped crying for the past 15 minutes, I'm so happy.

Thank you Colorado, Virginia, Florida. Let's keep turning this country blue.

Amazing Moments

What an amazing moment in history.

I am overjoyed, relieved, inspired and so moved by what we just achieved here today.

We're so young but I really never thought I would ever see something like this happen.

Absolutely amazing.

Presidential Results

MSNBC projects Obama as President, taking California, Washington, Oregon and Hawaii. This is truly historic. What it must be like to be in Grant Park right now.

Returns XVIII

will.i.am as a hologram on CNN?

This is too amusing watching the holograms.

Returns XVII

Paraphrasing Chuck Todd on MSNBC about Nebraska:

"I love these Midwest states. All their districts are so square."

Funny.

Returns XVI

The networks seem to agree that Obama is at 207 electoral votes. (Except CBS at 206.)

With the Pacific coast states and Hawaii coming up in 22 minutes, this could be over.

I'm so cautiously optimistic. I'll believe it when I see it.

Returns XV

Rachel says the South Dakota abortion ban failed. Good news.

Returns XIV

I'm sorry, I think it's funny that Arizona is "too close to call" after an hour and it's McCain's home state. Even if we don't get it, that's an achievement.

Returns XIII

The next closing is here!

Go Iowa!

Not that I think my calls made any difference, but it makes Iowa feel special to me. :)

Utah was expected to be deep red. No surprise there.

C'mon Montana and Nevada. I want to turn the Mountain West!

Returns XII

Jim Himes wins!

No more Republicans in New England. Nice.

Returns XI

We got New Mexico? Nice.

My Vote


Not that there was any surprise about New York, but I'm proud that my vote was part of a historic election. I voted for the first African American majority party nominee, and hopefully the first African American president.

Returns X

Is MSNBC the only one calling Ohio?

Returns IX

MSNBC took 37 minutes to call Arkansas. I thought it would be called before I got back from dinner.

So it looks like Shaheen, Hagan and Warner are in. Fantastic.

Returns VIII

Woohoo!

MSNBC calls for Obama:

New York
Minnesota
Michigan
Wisconsin
Rhode Island

And for McCain:

Kansas
North Dakota (they said it's the first toss-up... and they're calling it this early?)
Wyoming

Arizona is too close to call? I would LOVE to take Arizona away from McCain...

Still so nervous.

Time

Made it back in time for the 9 pm closings!

159 electoral votes, 15 states, including my own! Woohoo!

Dinner

Must get dinner before they call New York...

Returns VII

It took 33 minutes for MSNBC to call Alabama.

Crazy.

Returns VI

Go Kay Hagan!! MSNBC calls it for Hagan.

I would say Libby Dole deserves it for trying to call her Sunday school teacher opponent godless. Despicable.

Returns V

With every state, I feel a little bit better, but it's not over yet. A long way to go.

Must get dinner before they call NY at 9.

I may miss Arkansas at 8:30. :)

Returns IV

Fox News called New Hampshire for Obama, but CNN hasn't.

Grant Park

I wish I were in Grant Park right now.

Returns III

OK, tempering the enthusiasm and being cautious... CNN has not called Pennsylvania yet. They're being cautious.

But CNN amuses me with their map (which is why I LOVED that SNL part of Weekend Update). "Let's just pick a county." At random.

Returns II

NBC calls Pennsylvania for Obama?!?!?! And New Hampshire?! (If true, does McCain no longer "love" NH?)

And:

Illinois (expected)
New Jersey (expected)
Massachusetts (expected)
Maryland (expected)
Connecticut (expected)
Maine (expected)
Delaware (expected)
DC (expected)

And for McCain:

Tennessee (expected)
Oklahoma (expected)

Looking at the map, I guess I missed South Carolina being called (but it's expected).

Makes it 103-34 according to MSNBC.

Holograms

CNN has HOLOGRAMS?

"CNN's Jessica Yellin via Hologram from Chicago"

OK...

"I'm in a tent in Chicago..."

Well... you look like you're in a newsroom...

And I thought the floating map on MSNBC was weird. This is just bizarre. Standing on a little red button in the air? This is bizarre.

Edited to add: Wolf said "You make a terrific hologram." This is strange.

Returns I

NBC News projects:

Kentucky for McCain (8)
Vermont for Obama (3)

I don't think either of those 2 are shocking.

Why bother calling states "too early to call"? The polls just closed in those states! Of course they're TOO EARLY TO CALL. I don't know why we call states early anyway.

I Voted

I voted!

I was so happy to vote for Obama that I just wanted to look at my vote for a bit to let it sink in. It took me so long to vote that the lady outside checked on me to make sure I was ok. But really, part of that time was reading the proposal that I didn't know about beforehand.

And then I got free ice cream from Ben & Jerry's. (It was next door to the polling place!)

And then I phonebanked and called a list of Iowa voters. Only one person that I got through to hadn't voted yet, everyone else had, and 2 people enthusiastically volunteered that they voted for Obama. Woohoo!

Off to do more phonebanking and watching the returns (polls are closing in 2 minutes in a bunch of states)!

I really hope things work out right tonight. I'm so nervous.

Nerves

All of these voter problems have made me very, very nervous and frustrated.  Now, tell me, why are there no voter problems being reported from people trying to vote for McCain?

An American Lunch

When I started thinking more than an hour ago about what to get for lunch, I was undecided.  This is a special day, this election day, the first presidential election where I'm actually voting in a booth, and hopefully the day our country starts to move in a better direction.  What lunch could be appropriate for a day like today?  It had to be someplace close by, since I am trying to leave at 4 to go get in line to vote.
 
I started out thinking about sandwiches, soups, burgers, hot dogs, salads.  But why should an "American" lunch have to be traditional picnic food?  Why not something ethnic, something celebrating the fact that America is this huge diverse nation with many cultures which are all American?  Why not get something symbolizing the fact that we have all come from other places (well, other than the natives) and are all part of this country?
 
Nothing was living up to the standards of a lunch for a special and historic day.  Everything just seemed ordinary.  So I ended up just going to the Pret down the street and getting a half chicken and mozzarella baguette and a small spicy chicken chowder.  This is a special election day even with an ordinary lunch.  Hopefully it will all work out for the best.  And would someone please help all those voters in Virginia with their broken machines, misinformation and terrible lines!

Election Returns

I set out intending to write a post about past election days, but first decided to read through posts from 2004 to see what things were like.

How depressing. How can we go through this again for a third time? It was painful reading these entries.

This wait is agonizing (and I haven't even voted yet, so I'm not sure why I'm complaining about "waiting"). It's going to be a really long day.

Rallies

It just feels odd that it's almost 2 am eastern time and on MSNBC they are waiting for rallies to start.

Dixville Notch

Woohoo! Obama officially has 15 votes in New Hampshire!

I love that this place votes at midnight.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Confused

I just saw that horrible Rev. Wright "Hate we can believe in" ad from that Republican PAC on MSNBC.

What's going on here? I've now seen ads for "fair and balanced" Fox News and "hate we can believe in"... during shows like Countdown and Rachel Maddow. It's not like I'm watching Morning Joe. I don't get it.

Vote II


Don't forget to vote on Tuesday! Vote early to avoid long lines (if possible) and whatever you do, don't get off the line!

Phonebanking

I phonebanked (is that even a word?) this afternoon for the Obama campaign. I wish I had time to get more involved in the campaign earlier, but for one reason or another, never found time until the last minute. But I wanted to make sure I volunteered and did something other than donating $ to feel like I did some work to try to get to the finish line.

It's an interesting experience making phone calls for hours. A few observations:

1. I think people were screening their calls. The weather was not so nice in Pennsylvania that all of those people weren't home. I can't say I blame them. Some of the people I actually got to talk to had been contacted 4 times that day, and sometimes from call centers in different cities. I screen my calls based on caller ID, so I wouldn't be surprised if they were doing the same considering the call volume they must be getting. Which brings me to...

2. I started thinking at one point in the phonebanking that I shouldn't screen calls on my phone because I was learning what it felt like to dial 10 numbers in a row and get 10 voicemails/answering machines. Then I thought about it a little more and remembered why I do it at all.

3. Some of the people I called were so enthusiastic and it was so great to talk to them. Reminds you of why you're doing it. I only got 2 calls that turned out not to be supporters, but unfortunately they were the last 2 I made today.

4. I wonder when the day will come that we can have portable real-time technology that updates based on each phone call or home visit, so people in all different cities can track progress on all different levels all at once in the palm of their hand. I think that's more fantasy than reality at this point.

5. Phonebanking reminded me of just how big the world is, and it kind of makes you feel like a really small part of it all. You can hear a population number, or even see crowds of people, but when you're holding sheets of paper with names on them and the lists just go on and on, it really is a different way of seeing just how many people there are.

6. I didn't mind getting sent to voicemail that much. You could hear the message and sometimes I was wondering what the person was like and what they were up to. All from the sound of their voice and their outgoing message. Some people (like mine) had the generic message up so there wasn't much wondering going on there.

7. I liked knowing where I was calling, geographically. I think I had a sheet or 2 of Pittsburgh, another of Philly and a sheet of Johnstown. I think it's my map thing, why I wanted to know where I was calling. It also helps when you feel like you have a "stake" (for lack of a better word) in the outcome. Like when CNN zooms in on a county and you know you've called there. That's kind of cool. Like the way I'll be tracking certain downticket races because I contributed some $.

8. You know that every day you are living through "history." But there are just certain moments when you really feel like you're living through something people will read about in the history books years from now. Hopefully this time it's for something amazing, as opposed to the last 3 things I can think of that are in the history books (9/11, Katrina, the Bush downward spiral). It would be amazing to think of the type of uplifting history that could be made this week, and that we might live through it. One can only hope.

It's going to be a stressful and anxiety-filled 48 (or less) hours...

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Sigh

My computer is dying.

I logged on this morning to do work after suddenly getting 3 blue
screen errors yesterday. And I couldn't get it to stay on through
start up without a blue screen error and restarting itself.

Luckily it is working enough (for now) to let me save stuff in safe
mode. Sigh. But I did lose some pictures. Sigh.

Time Changes

I think it's sad that it's been years since I have been asleep during the daylight savings time changes. It was always nice to sleep early, and wake up realizing you got a free hour of sleep. Or, on the other side, sleeping before the time change and not having to watch the time jump from 2 to 3 and realizing you have lost time.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Vote


Don't forget to vote on Tuesday! (Or early, if you can...)
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Friday, October 31, 2008

Odd Ads

I don't understand why I am seeing ads for Fox's "fair and balanced" news and election coverage... while watching Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. Why on earth would they accept Fox News ads on MSNBC?

Broken Internet

Apparently there's some internet fight between Sprint and Cogent, so our internet is completely messed up today and not connecting to things.  Or when it is, it's coming up as plain text, like OLD internet.  The internet is broken!  Or as the PC World article puts it, a "small rip in the fabric of the internet."
 
I tried loading the Weather Channel but the text links and other text just came up all over the page and on top of one another, so I think I'll just use my blackberry.  Messed up.

SNL

I wonder if McRage is going to bring Joe the Plumber to SNL with him.

Blah

Watching the Hardball rerun. I wish Susan Molinari would just stop it already.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Clean Dinner

How did my "clean" Japanese dinner go?
 
Not too bad.  The low point was the eel, but the rest was pretty good.  I usually never discuss restaurants on here, but I'm trying to post more (before I forget things; I seem to not remember so many things that have happened over the years that so many people remember about my own life), so why not.
 
I ordered from Hakata, which is where we got a group lunch from on Tuesday.  Here's the summary:
 
Delivery: Quick, easy (Seamless), on time, etc.
Oden (the Japanese winter dish from the previous posts): Pretty good.  Adding the mustard made it even better. 
Eel/avocado roll: Not very good.  The eel was tough and rubbery.  But it wasn't at lunch on Tuesday which was why I was surprised.  That happened to Alvin once at a place I like for sushi lunch, so it could just be a bad batch.
Spicy tuna roll: Yum.
 
Yay sushi.  But still... bad me from all those Halloween sweets!  I did some yoga crunches out of guilt.

Follow Up

According to Wikipedia:
 
Karashi (Japanese mustard) is often used as a condiment.
 
That must have been it.

Unknown Substance

Whoa.
 
I ordered this Japanese winter soup thing.  There was a small plastic container on top which looked like wasabi but was brown.  I opened the top to sniff it and I think I just burned my sinuses off, it was that strong.
 
Wow.

Lack of Self Control

I was really good today at lunch.  I went to one of the generic midtown delis (although, one of the better ones) and got some chicken udon since I was looking for some nice warm soup.  It was just broth, chicken, udon and plain veggies (spinach, mushrooms, seaweed, scallions, carrots).  It felt so clean and so healthy.
 
Fast forward a few hours...
 
We had a Halloween party at the firm.  Normally, if you are a candy addict like me, that might mean stay away.  But I was craving chocolate earlier in the afternoon and I like Halloween cupcakes (as you can see from the Treats Truck posts), so I thought I would just check it out and have a small snack.
 
Snack.  Right.
 
2 small pieces of turkey, 4 small pieces of a good cheese and 1 medium piece of cheese that I didn't really like, a fairly large vanilla cupcake with chocolate icing (and some icky plastic spider on it which I should not have taken because it alarmed me), one Halloween sized bag of swedish fish, 2 starbursts, and mini Halloween sized bag of Skittles... and now I feel totally unhealthy.
 
And I'm not going to the gym tonight (working instead).
 
Terrible!  I feel so polluted.
 
So in order to feel better, I'm going to have a nice "clean" sushi dinner.  Sigh.  No self control.  At all.  Ridiculous.  I am not allowed to eat the Halloween sized bag of Sour Patch Kids sitting on my desk.  But I think I can do that because I just gave myself a massive guilt trip about how horrible I was with the candy and it makes me feel gross inside, so I think the work is done.  Sigh. 
 
Back to work.

Internet

Our internet is horribly slow right now.  Or maybe it's just my computer.  Either way that makes me sad.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Self meditating

Boo.  My True Blue Spa self meditating body butter with rice bran oil and green tea is empty.  I'm glad I remembered to bring a new tub of body butter to work today, along with all the Costco food we got this weekend.  Yay.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Miscellaneous

Some miscellaneous notes:
 
1.  I wonder why the people with the presidential campaign condoms in Times Square don't have any for Biden.  On Friday, I heard them shouting out for their Obama, McCain and Palin ones, but not Biden.  He got left out.
 
2.  I got a new phone today.  It's finally time to get a new one under our plan and that's good because nowadays I have had to charge my phone daily and it also shuts off whenever it feels like it.  You can turn this one sideways and it becomes a camera.  Funny how my cousin had one of these in Hong Kong, oh, over 3 years ago.  We are so behind here with our cell phones...
 
3.  I missed that first 2 hour premiere of Grey's Anatomy and had been meaning to watch it online, but never had a chance.  I tried today and it's already gone.  At least I got the episode of Ugly Betty that I was missing from the DVR.
 
4.  I wish I didn't have to do work this weekend.
 
5.  The problem with going to King Buffet for dinner is that I eat too many onion rings.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Willpower

I love going to the Treats Truck.  There's just something nice about getting a delicious little snack in the middle of the afternoon.
 
The only problem is that the Treats Truck is only near our office on Fridays around lunchtime, and not later in the afternoon.  I don't have to test my willpower as much if I can run down to the truck at 3:30 or 4 to get a snack.  But today the cupcake has been sitting on my desk since around 1, and all I keep thinking is "when can I finally eat the cupcake..."
 
Part of the problem is that I'm trying to do small meals, so I only had a sushi roll for lunch in anticipation of my afternoon cupcake (better than a box of chicken over rice).  I'm not going to the gym tonight, or else it wouldn't be such a big deal.
 
So I am not allowed to eat the cupcake until 3:30.  It is a test of my willpower.  I keep watching the clock count down to 3:30.  It's pathetic that I'm keeping track of the amount of time until cupcake.  Almost as bad as watching the seconds tick by on the elliptical.  Thank goodness I can now channel surf while doing that.
 
7 minutes to cupcake...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Socialism

I can't believe we have now moved to calling major candidates "socialist" and "communist."  This is insane.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Getaway

I love that it's Sunday night (technically Monday morning, 1:39 am) and the Weather Channel is showing the "getaway forecast" for the Hamptons, Atlantic City and the Catskill Mountains. I always joke about looking forward to the weekend on Monday at work, but posting a getaway forecast on TV before the work week even gets started? Fantastic.

In other news, while walking past Bread Factory Cafe near our apartment this evening, I saw my horoscope on the TV screen. It said to research travel destinations. It's trying to tempt me, knowing I am not going on vacation for the rest of 2008. It doesn't mean I won't research travel destinations though! I read some of my travel magazine tonight, and also uploaded photos from my 2006 Puerto Rico trip, including some things that I totally forgot I saw.

And since we're discussing travel, I love when The Amazing Race goes to New Zealand. This was one of my favorite mat greeters - hi Phil's dad! That was great!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Vote Switching

Seriously?

Didn't this "vote for Obama but machine records vote for McCain" thing already happen on the Simpsons? Sad.

(Or in a skit from the Simpsons? I don't know if it was part of an episode or not.)

In other political news, I am proud to be part of the massive fundraising effort in Minnesota after those hateful comments on Hardball. Good luck to El!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cupcakes II


The delicious Halloween cupcake from the Treats Truck. I highly recommend it. Hmm, what to try next week...

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Cupcakes

I just had one of the Halloween cupcakes (chocolate cake/vanilla frosting) from the Treats Truck, and it is the best cupcake I have had in a long time.

Silly Season

This political season has had some really ridiculous arguments.  I'm trying to think of them all, but there have been so many silly ones that I can't even keep track.  But the two big ones I can think of right now are:
 
(1)  That you can be an expert on foreign policy because you can see Russia from part of your home state; and
 
(2)  That the reason the campaign and ads got so negative was because they didn't have a summer series of 10 town hall meetings.
 
Neither of these make any sense to me and I don't know why they keep pushing it!  It just sounds extremely silly!  If seeing a place gives you experience, then as they have said on TV (I wish I could remember where), that makes us astronauts because we can see space or the stars.  And I don't understand what town hall meetings have to do with negative ads.  Nothing!  No one forced you to go negative.  If you did it because your feelings were hurt or you got frustrated because things didn't go your way, that doesn't make it the other person's fault for not agreeing with you.  That just sounds whiny and really entitled.
 
What else do you remember from this season that was completely ridiculous?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe the Plumber

A few notes on Joe the Plumber:
 
1.  Until last night's debate, "Joe the Plumber" was, for me, an example of Barack Obama's campaigning.  How he goes door to door to talk individually to Americans and to hear their concerns and explain his plans.  From the video, Joe was clearly not an Obama supporter, but Obama talked to him anyway and answered all of his questions.  I thought this was great -- his ability to talk one-on-one with people that McGrumpy doesn't have.
 
2.  I am still amazed at how often Joe the Plumber came up last night.  I heard on one news program that this was McGrumpy's code for "middle class," but as Rachel pointed out last night, McGrumpy has now gone 0-3 in the debates when it comes to actually saying the words "middle class."  Maybe it's because he doesn't know how to define it since he thinks $5 million is the threshold for being rich.
 
3.  I don't really think Joe the Plumber = Joe Six pack.  Joe the Plumber had to give a press conference this morning (something Sarah Palin has never done in this campaign...) and I'm not so sure everyone can relate to Joe because (a) his questions to Barack came from him wanting to own a business and he was anticipating making $250,000 a year, which is more than most people can say, (b) he doesn't believe in social security and (c) he's 100% behind our efforts in Iraq, WMD or not, he doesn't care, when most of Americans according to the polls really don't support the Iraq war anymore (and I note for the record you can support the TROOPS without supporting the WAR and I'm wondering if people are starting to get that).
 
4.  Joe the Plumber is from Holland, Ohio, one of the few places in Ohio that I have spent any time in.  And by "any time," I mean a day on the way to Chicago.  (But in my count, I have "spent time" at a place when I have either stayed in a hotel there, eaten a meal there or had other more extensive contact.  We stayed at a Residence Inn there and ate at a Mexican chain restaurant.  I have pictures.) 
 
5.  I really just can't believe how much of the post-debate coverage is being spent (as it was clear it obviously would be) on Joe the Plumber, as opposed to McGrumpy's demeaning remarks (and air quotes) about women's health, how he thinks Obama voted against Breyer (when he meant Alito, I would think), McGrumpy's general rudeness and insane eyerolling, McGrumpy's condescension about Obama not understanding because he's never been south of the border (when he has a running mate that has barely been out of the country) and that fabulous, fabulous picture where he looks like he's flailing around the table because he didn't know which way to go.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Debate 4

McStupid really said Obama voted against Breyer? Is he serious? What a dumb@ss.

Debate 3

McStupid and his pathological lying make me sick.

Debate 2

"Americans have gotten to know Sarah Palin."
Seriously?
 
In the same amount of time you have...
 
We've learned about Troopergate, ethics issues, the Alaska Independence Party, wanting to go bookburning, replacing people with cronies, and more things than I can count. 
 
I can't believe how he can just lie about so much through his teeth.  Serious pathological lying going on.

Debate 1

I'm amused.  Within the first part of Obama's response, not only did he use "middle class" (since McSame hasn't said it in 2 debates), but he said "the fundamentals of our economy were weak." 

Here We Go

I love how when the debate starts, you actually can't tell if it's real or SNL.  Ha.  At least in the Fox version I'm watching (as I don't think I have other choices).  I wonder if McCain can make eye contact while sitting at the same table or if the anger will be even harder to stifle.

Stealing

I can't believe they are so desperate that they're now claiming that, despite Obama being ahead in all of the polls, McCain's only going to lose because the Democrats are stealing the election.  This is getting really, really pathetic.  I could see if we were coming from 15 points down and they were saying we could only win if we cheated, but we're ahead so what exactly is being stolen?  Then again, I suppose if, like McSame, you're down by over 10 points in the polls and you win... we could say you cheated and stole the election (through voter suppression efforts)?  It goes both ways... but I'm sure they don't see it that way at all.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Eli's Back

Speaking of sophomore shows, I really hope people watched Eli Stone tonight. I love this show. Makes me happy.

Mentalist

TV fanatic that I am, it is probably surprising that I haven't really written much about the new fall TV season (which is already a month in). Then again, I'm not really caught up on the fall season. I haven't seen the premiere of Fringe yet, and all of this season's Heroes and Chuck are still on the DVR. And I'm really behind on Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy because the DVR is so full by Thursday that the DVR has been claiming there's no room left.

As far as the new shows go, I guess I would say that I'm pleasantly surprised by the Mentalist. I wasn't going to watch it, out of loyalty to Psych, but I saw the first episode on CBS online and really liked it. I didn't want to like it, but I did. And after the second episode, that didn't change. Perhaps I should go into new shows with those expectations -- expecting to dislike it and then waiting for the show to change my mind. A way of managing the DVR list?

I haven't seen that many of the other new shows. 90210, I missed the first few because the DVR was out of room, so I haven't really gotten into it. Privileged, I like but I missed an episode here or there. Life on Mars was ok; I'm not sold on it but I usually give new shows 2-3 episodes. The Ex List is another one I didn't expect to like because the premise seemed a little forced, but I really liked the episodes so far. Haven't seen My Own Worst Enemy, Fringe, etc. yet.

I feel like last year's sophomore class had some really good shows that weren't watched much, got renewed, but were off the air for a really long time with the strike but haven't recovered (in ratings). I wish more people were watching Chuck, Dirty Sexy Money, Pushing Daisies, Private Practice, etc. Such good shows. Thank goodness Gossip Girl is doing better.

Watching last Thursday's Survivor now ... Gabon is gorgeous but I don't think I could handle being there!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Crazy in La Paz

I can't believe that there was a sports bra controversy on The Amazing Race. Seriously?! If you put your sports bra on a ledge and it falls off, it doesn't necessarily mean that one of your competitors sabotaged you. It's entirely possible that it just fell off. Unbelievable.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dumpling Truck

I don't get the hate for the new dumpling truck.  Were they the best dumplings I've ever had?  No, not by any means.  Were they expensive? Yes, but my original plan for today was to go to Dishes, so I would have spent at least that much there.  Would I go back? Sure.  It's tasty and parked right outside our office building.  And I love dumplings of any form.  So, yes, I would go back.  But I can imagine it would get expensive if you were really, really hungry.  But sometimes you just want Asian food and chicken with thai basil dumplings will work!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Friends

Would someone please tell John McCain that I am not his friend?!?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Politics

I can't believe what's going on in the McSame political campaign right now.  There is something terribly, terribly wrong when you approve of people at your rallies yelling for assassinations of the other guy.  I don't care if you want to win, but inciting people to violence is wrong.  Not telling them not to say that is wrong.  Allowing people to shout for others to be killed or to belittle others by using racially pejorative terms is wrong.  Not only because it's not an "honorable" campaign, but how can you live with yourself, knowing that your actions prompt outpourings of hate?  Un-freaking-believable.  Maybe people should ask him if he'd rather cause an assassination than lose a political campaign (since that's a phrasing he's so fond of using).  Sigh.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Cubs

I don't understand. How could the Cubs lose? They had the 100 year story. It was supposed to be their year. The winner always has a story. This shouldn't be happening!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Spoilers

WTF CBS. I don't mind spoilers for reality shows, but you put the entire map of all the Amazing Race pitstops for the season on your website? So anyone who wants to watch extended footage gets spoiled about the whole route? Seriously?

TAR 13.1

(Warning: Spoilers ahead!)

I'm not going to spoil who won or lost this first leg of TAR 13 (other than that they were both teams I like), but I'm so excited that the Amazing Race is back! It's been so long. The last season aired last fall and I forgot how much I missed this show. Yay!

Anyway, the teams were in Salvador, Brazil today. I haven't been to Brazil, but would like to go someday. Salvador looked like a nice city, and the tasks looked fun. I definitely would have preferred climbing down a net to crawling hands and knees up the stairs. Yikes.

But the real story is how there are always teams I don't like! Right now it's 2.5 I think... the frat boys, the woman who really wants to get married (right now she is being edited as one dimensional and he really doesn't look like he wants to get married) and especially Terrence and Sarah. He's supposedly a free spirit, but he's the most uptight and intense free spirit I've ever seen on TV. She has her own issues and isn't treating this like a race, getting upset with people running the race because she tried to talk to them in the street and be nice, and they probably didn't even hear her since they were racing! And the preview is no better where he complains that 2 teams are "like one" because they're in an alliance (has he even watched the show? does he know what an alliance is?), and she whines that they didn't even say hi to her. Seriously?!

I'm so glad the race is back! And I'm also really glad that after a month of having no real chairs in the living room, we have new Ikea chairs to sit and watch TV. Yay!

Inbox

Remember that resolution I made, way back in December, to get and keep my gmail inbox below 3,000 messages?

Yeah, me too.

Today I got my gmail inbox from about 7,800 messages to its current message count, 6,926.

It felt like such an accomplishment until I looked back at the resolutions and realized my goal had been 3,000, not some higher number like, say, 5,000.

What are all the messages and why are 4,758 of them unread?

I have no idea.

Maybe I'll delete a few more before I go to sleep. I'm so close to getting below 6,900 that I think I'll try to get there tonight.

Wheeee.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Burritos

I'm sad that Burritoville is gone (or at least that's what the blogs say).  We kept going to Chipotle instead (they are diagonally across from one another) because that Burritoville location had some fruit fly problem by the salsa that started to annoy me.  They looked cleaner recently, but we never got around to trying it.  I can't even remember the last time I ate there!  But I'm sad because they actually had healthy burrito/burrito bowl options.  Brown rice.  Tofu sour cream.  With this gone and Rocket Wrapps gone, there is no more healthy option for burrito bowls on that section of 9th Ave.  I like to think I'm being somewhat "healthy" by going to Chipotle, not by the numbers, but because of loading up on fruits & vegetables, but I know that it's not as healthy as either of the other 2 places.  Oh well.  As Alvin says, "lost opportunities."  I saw them closed when we went to Chipotle on Friday but thought it was just a DOH thing.  Never expected this (although I could have read about it before then if I looked at the sites I usually read).  Sigh.

21 Minutes

It's rush hour, yet somehow the driving directions to SF only account
for a traffic delay of 21 minutes. Interesting.

Delays

I was bored so I decided to see if Google Maps on my blackberry would
give me a route from here to Maui. It wouldn't.

So then I got driving directions to San Francisco for fun (which were
what I thought they would be - 80 all the way) and it told me it would
take 1 day and 19 hours. With a traffic delay of 8 minutes. Where did
they get that from?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Vacations

Hopefully the "bad financial market events" during vacations trend will now be broken because bad things come in threes.
 
When we went to Alaska last year, we returned to land in Seattle to find out about the subprime mess and collapse.
 
When we went to Florida in the spring, Bear Stearns got bought by Chase.
 
We just came back from Hawaii on Monday.  What happened this time? Oh, Lehman went under, Merrill Lynch got bought, and the country bought AIG.
 
This really has to stop or I won't be able to fly places on vacation anymore!  People said I can't go on vacation anymore because of this trend.  I think it must stop now.  That's 3 bad things.  Bad things come in threes.  Please let the worst be over.
 
Then again, I don't think we're flying anywhere on vacation until after November.  So maybe it will get better.  Hopefully.  Hopefully someone who knows that Spain is not in Latin America will be elected and the madness will stop.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Dessert

The Iao Valley Lime Tart at Lahaina Grill is one of the best desserts I have ever had in my entire life.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Aloha

Aloha from Maui!

I wish we were just here on vacation and didn't have to go location scouting. Sigh.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Salad

Interested in hearing from someone who has tried this...

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Traffic

I'm watching the local news, and the Staten Island Expressway has this much traffic this early in the morning? It's 6:02 am! Why are all these people driving in to work at 6 in the morning? It's so early! I'm so glad you can get to JFK by train. Especially when they said the off-season rush hour has ended and the highways are all congested again.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Labor Day Weekend

Hope everyone had a nice Labor Day weekend!

Mine was kind of blah. I did work for a good part of it, and cleaned the apartment when I could, but other than that, not much happened. Unlike the last 3 day weekend for July 4th, this weekend wasn't very restful. Worked most of the time, my allergies are going crazy, my eye won't stop twitching, I haven't gotten nearly as much done as I needed to do. But in appreciation of the little things, here were the highlights of my Labor Day weekend:

Saturday
- Bringing our futon to my parents' house to get rid of it and doing a Wii Fit workout
- Delicious Chinese food for dinner at Spring Garden, especially the string beans
- Seeing a US immigration document from 1933 that my grandfather found when cleaning out his house

Sunday
- Potato salad and sushi at our neighborhood sushi place
- Delicious Mediterranean lunch at Gazala Place
- Getting through a few episodes on the DVR, including an especially entertaining episode of Psych that I have been meaning to watch

Monday
- Buying a dress
- Getting new flip flops
- Discovering a new neighborhood Indian restaurant with excellent food

(So... it's been a good eating weekend... I guess that sums it up...)

Hmm

Is it really a good idea to campaign for VP with a newborn baby (regardless of the Down syndrome) and a pregnant teenage daughter?

Dumplings

We're watching Throwdown and they're making dumplings. Sadly (or not), my first time making dumplings last Christmas looked better than Bobby Flay's first dumplings. Ha.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

New Cub

Yay! Lun Lun had a cub tonight at Zoo Atlanta! New panda cub, yay! Must go to Atlanta next year. I really want to see the cubs at their cutest stage (~6 months) so maybe this time we'll succeed.