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

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!!!


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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.


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


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


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!


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


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.


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


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


Not exactly what they were expecting to hear...

Thursday, December 04, 2008


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.


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!