Monday, June 29, 2009

Weekend Notes

It's been a really busy weekend. A lot of fun, but late nights, lots of traveling and two weddings have left me completely exhausted. So, only a few quick notes and observations from this weekend:

1. I miss undergrad. It was so great having everyone in the same place, and I think I really took for granted how easy it was to just get together and hang out. Now, with everyone spread around the country and real world responsibilities, it's just so much more difficult.

2. Somehow, we got a better rental car on this trip, booking through Priceline, than we did the last time we rented a car at this airport, directly from the rental company. Not only was it a fraction of the price, but we got a bigger car and it had GPS which they normally charge extra for! Even better, since I was expecting so much less.

3. I love JetBlue. Not only do they still allow you to check a bag for free, but they have free snacks and of course their wonderful DirecTV. And their flight attendants were super nice. Although I don't remember much about our return flight, since I was asleep from the moment we got into the air until we began our final descent into JFK.

4. At last night's wedding, the service for our table was so bad that it was funny. At the outset, we asked them if we could just serve ourselves. (It was a Chinese banquet, and we would prefer to pick out what we liked instead.) I don't know if they were insulted by it or something, but after the first course (which, honestly, most people would want to choose their own food from since it had the pork/cold cut type stuff and the salads), they started serving our table (right next to the head table...) last. And later we saw that other tables had 2 fruit platters, instead of 1. And then we hadn't gotten cake yet, when they went back to the table next to us to offer them seconds. My aunt (mother of the groom...) mentioned to the waiter that our table hadn't gotten cake yet, and he said, "I know, we'll get there" and offered seconds to the other table. Sad, but very amusing. Food was actually pretty good though.

5. Have you ever seen a vending machine serving burgers and fries? How about in a parking garage?

6. All the work I did deleting emails and getting my inbox under 5700 has been undone. I am back above 5850.

7. How far apart do they usually put rest stops on the interstate? 50 miles felt very, very, very, very long early on a Saturday morning. It was actually pretty crowded for 6 am at the rest stop. Yay for hash browns.

8. The new JetBlue terminal at JFK is gorgeous. I can't believe this is the first time we've been there since they redid it, but I guess it makes sense since they don't fly to Hawaii.

9. I love going to weddings.

10. I should be sleeping now, but since I tried to recover last night by sleeping so much, I woke up late, and the late night cycle begins again. So glad it's a 4 day week!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


What is wrong with the perky people at the Weather Channel saying that it's time to rise and shine in California and the West Coast? It's not even 6 am there!!

In other sleep news, my "nap" was completely insufficient and I really, really want to go back to bed. But it's better than no sleep since I am catching all sorts of mistakes...

Monday, June 22, 2009


Tonight we went out for Fathers Day dinner and I had the most delicious dessert. It got me thinking that I really need to learn how to make my own fruit cobbler...

Here is the triple berry fruit cobbler (strawberry, blueberry and raspberry) with oatmeal streusel and vanilla ice cream from Wildwood:



I'm rewatching Top Chef Masters from this week, and still don't understand how Ilan said Wylie's grilled cheese sandwich was "too big" yet Suzanne's multibite shallot rings with salad was not too big and was fantastic. How about holding everyone to the same standard?

Sunday, June 21, 2009


A divided skillet is a pretty cool idea. I never would have thought of that. That could really save time!

Pretty Towels

They're selling a set of microfiber towels on QVC, and asking a caller why she likes the towels.

"I love these towels... because they're pretty."

So then they go on about the towels some more, and she adds in yet again, that they're pretty.

Apparently we should buy these towels because they're pretty.

Ha. I don't know why I found that so amusing.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

On Film

There are little orange signs all over the area today - because they are filming a movie!

When we got back on Sunday night (really, Monday morning), we saw signs for something called "Date Night." I knew nothing about it, didn't know they had been filming around the city, didn't know who was in it, and for whatever reason, didn't look it up. I think it's because I see the little signs up all the time, and never see anything. The closest I've gotten is seeing some people hanging out on the street with their equipment when it was supposed to be Gossip Girl, and a cameraman filming a random person walking down the sidewalk when it was supposed to be Fringe. That second time, no one even paid any attention. Maybe it wasn't even the Fringe crew.

I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary near home this morning, except a sign taped to a building explaining that it was a 20th Century Fox movie, that they were setting up all over the area (giving street names) and that they were filming on THAT block. Really? It's not just for the trailers?!

Not so the block near work. That one was covered on both sides with big trucks and trailers. Didn't see anything except the food spread when I left work.

But in Times Square...

It was really crowded on every side of the triangle. The crowd was packed in, and being short, I couldn't see a thing. It was late so I didn't try that hard, but the crowd reminded me of NYE. Ick. But it did look like they were actively filming something with recognizable people. Otherwise, why would all those people be packed in there staring??

I kept walking home, saw a lot of cop cars diagonally parked outside a building like they do outside the police station except there is no police station on the block, and I realize they have changed the exterior of the school into a police precinct. I felt weird trying to take pictures with all the security people and PAs around, and my hands aren't very steady and it was dark, so it would probably just have been blurry anyway.

I looked up the movie and it apparently stars Tina Fey and Steve Carell and a whole bunch of other peole. Now I kind of wish it hadn't been so late and I had tried to get a better look. Or that I were taller. Or that I could tolerate crowds better.

But I wonder - do they like filming in NYC? It's so crowded and there are always so many people just staring and watching. How do you keep anything secret? How do you get around with all those people everywhere? It just seems like a nightmare.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Late List

A short post, since it is very late, and I should be sleeping!

1. My gmail inbox is now down to 5780 messages. Considering that it was over 6000 messages earlier today, that's progress. But it doesn't feel like it. It feels so slow. How could I have so many thousands of messages still left? What are they?!

2. We finally finished watching last season's episodes of Chuck and I loved it. I was a little spoiled about the finale since it's been awhile since it aired, but I was excited to see it, and it definitely lived up to expectations. Thank goodness there's going to be a next season.

3. I have decided I'm not going to use up DVR space on Mental. It will be Lie to Me-treatment where I watch it on Hulu when I have time. It's interesting but I don't care enough about it to want to give it a spot on the DVR when it's available on Hulu.

4. Yet again it rained today. They said we have had over 5 inches of rain this month already, and the monthly average is only around 2 inches. Sounds about right. It's been gloomy, cloudy and/or rainy almost every day, with some cold thrown in too. This is not June weather! I feel so bad for all the June brides who planned outdoor weddings here in NYC and have been getting hit with this weather.

5. I went on a shoe shopping spree this weekend. I don't usually like to go shoe shopping, and haven't really bought shoes in a long time (other than work shoes), so it was surprising how many pairs I came home with. But it's good - I discovered a style I like for the wedding and now it's on order (they didn't have my size in that color)! Yay! Another thing (almost) done!

Off to sleep. Will never lose weight if I don't get more sleep. They have done studies about that, I think -- how sleep is necessary if you're trying to lose weight and get in shape. Good night!

Thursday, June 11, 2009


(Spoilers ahead!)

First performance episode of the season - finally! There was the good (contemporary, ballroom), the bad (Nigel complaining about people flying under the radar as if they had a choice whether or not they showed up in the audition episode footage) and the horrible (the choreography for Tyce's Broadway).

How I ranked the performances in order from most liked to least liked:

1. Melissa & Ade: Wow. Like Shankman, I teared up without even thinking about it. That was so beautiful, so magical, so amazing. I love contemporary dance, and this just conveyed so much emotion. It was really, really good.

2. Maks & Kayla: Yay ballroom. I love watching good fast ballroom routines. So exciting.

3. Karla & Jonathan: Another fast ballroom routine that was a lot of fun to watch. (The music helped.) I don't remember EVER seeing these 2 before the intro to the top 20 episode, but they had really good chemistry together.

4. (tie, can't decide) Kupono & Ashley: I like Wade, but I just never know where to rank his routines because they're just so different. AND Caitlin & Jason: I love Bollywood routines, but I just kept thinking about Katee & Joshua.

6. Brandon & Janette: More ballroom. I hope the Foxtrot curse is done.

7. Evan & Randi: It was OK. They're not going anywhere because it's clear that everyone loves him.

8. Philip & Jeanine: I don't even remember most of what they did, because I spent the whole routine commenting about how every move looked like it came right out of Bleeding Love from last year. All lyrical hip hop shouldn't look the same...

9. Paris & Tony: I kind of tuned out. Don't remember much.

10. Asuka & Vitolio: Sad. I liked both of them in the audition episodes. But this choreography and story and everything... just terrible. I hope they get another chance.

And Mary's Botox comment? Awesome.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


Nevermind that last post. That was thunder.

I saw a bright flash inbetween our window blinds, and then the room shook and it sounded like garbage cans had hit the wall. We're in the middle of a thunderstorm! I didn't even know it was supposed to rain!

But the thunder's not stopping. It's actually pretty amazing.

So, what am I not doing? Sleeping. What am I doing? Listening to the booming thunder. Ha.

Hmm. If I saw the lightning through the window blinds, where did it strike? In our courtyard? We're on a low floor and our window faces a courtyard and is blocked by a building on the other side... so in order to see it that brightly... the lightning would have to be pretty close...

This thunder is super intense. Haven't heard one of these storms in quite awhile!


I couldn't decide if that was loud booming thunder or a truck driving down the street... but now it sounds like it's pouring on the living room windowsill! Either that or someone is spraying my window with buckets of water...


I really need to figure out how to sleep earlier. I hate sleeping this late.

Eating dinner before 9:40 would probably help...


I finally finished the season finale of Grey's Anatomy tonight. Only took almost a month. I guess I didn't feel like watching it knowing about who everyone thought had died. I had missed the finale on the night it aired (don't remember why), but then the next day, headlines were screaming about who got hit by a bus and who died and whatnot. I didn't want to know! I actually tried to not be spoiled about the show, avoiding facebook messages about it and everything, and there it was on an entertainment site - in the headlines! Argh!

I thought it was good. Since I was spoiled, the second hour didn't pack as much punch or suspense as I think it would have had I not been spoiled. This is why I don't read spoilers except for reality shows! I learned my lesson when I got spoiled by speculation about John Locke's wheelchair on Lost. People speculated so much about it that during the actual reveal, it seemed anticlimactic. That's why I have a self-imposed ban on how much I'll read about Lost, just in case enthusiastic fans accidentally tease out all the secrets. But in this case, it was in the headlines. I couldn't avoid it! It was very frustrating.

In other news, today:

- I realized the black and white cookies on the cookie plate are actually kind of cake-y and remind me of some other cookie/cake, but I can't remember which one. But I always thought they were hard cookies, so now am wondering what I missed out on.

- I got a salad for lunch. Apparently everyone else wanted a healthy Monday lunch also since the line for Just Salad went into the hallway. I still want to know why they got rid of the good focaccia bread. I didn't head over for the Kogi/Dessert Truck hour-long special today, because (a) they're too far from the office, (b) they had only 200 servings and I didn't have enough time to get there early and wait in line and (c) I expected a mob scene. Instead I kept up with it on the blogs.

- We got closer to finalizing our invitations! Proofs are in the mail! Yippee!

- I had such a craving for larb gai that instead of having dinner at home, we went out for Thai. Now I'm quite full. Bad me.

- I discovered that the maintenance people's attempt at vacuuming and spraying Raid ant and roach killer to kill fruit flies eating glue in the ventilation failed, as yet again there are 2 new (dead) flies on the window. Why do they come in twos? Why do they mostly come up on Mondays? Why can't they figure out how to get rid of them? Why have I been dealing with this for almost two years?

- I wondered how Katy Perry dance songs made it onto the OneRepublic Pandora station.

- I kept looking at my page-a-day calendar, which had a photo of lounge chairs at a resort on a Bora Bora lagoon. Wish we were there.

- We finally watched another episode of Chuck, and I'm still addicted. I want to watch the next one now! But it's time for a shower...

Monday, June 08, 2009


Just finished my stretches. Stretching feels so great and I wish I could take real stretching breaks at work during the day!

So much for an early night...

Summer Weekend

This weekend was the first chance we had to relax in a long time. We have had so many places to go the past few weekends, that it was so nice to just have a chance to breathe and catch up on stuff we needed to do.

Saturday we slept in for the first time in ages and it was definitely needed. I did an hour-long (almost, an hour with commercials) stretching and relaxation class from All Star Workouts and that felt amazing afterwards. I definitely need to incorporate more relaxation and have less stress!

For dinner, we went out to Queen of Sheba, an Ethiopian place in our neighborhood that we love. We just love Ethiopian food, the spices, the flavors, the emphasis on good vegetarian dishes. We shared an appetizer of timatim fitfit (tomatoes, peppers, onions and injera, the dish in the left picture) and for entrees, the vegetarian sampler platter and the doro tibs (chicken). Everything was delicious (as usual). I love the vegetarian sampler plate for the variety and because we don't know which one is our favorite! The samplers at the Ethiopian restaurants in HK seem to have more choices than some other places, and we definitely appreciate that.

Today we rested in the morning (ahh, sweet sleep) and then headed out for a late brunch. We didn't have a destination in mind, but had been thinking about going to Kyotofu, so there we went! I'm not sure if we have been back there since our New Years fiesta (I think we have tried to go, but the waits and lines were always so long!), so we were looking forward to a good mix of savory and sweet foods.

Brunch entrees at Kyotofu come with a complimentary cocktail - yay! We each got a bellini to start with, and waited for our entrees (the photos in the top row of the collage - yes, I went collage-happy for this entry) to come.

I got the chicken and tofu tsukune burger, which has teriyaki with shiso and cucumber, and also came with a side of crispy lotus root chips. The lotus root chips tasted just like potato chips. The burger was excellent, as I expected it would be since we had the sliders of the same at New Years and they were delicious, one of my favorites of the whole night. A got the brioche french toast which came with little berkshire sausages and also coffee shochu syrup. It was pretty good.

For dessert, we split the dessert omakase, which came with the signature sweet tofu, the strawberry-rhubarb cobbler and the miso chocolate cake. My favorite of the desserts was the cobbler, and A's favorite was the tofu. With the check, they also gave a little treat of chocolate cakes, but when we inquired about what treats the table next to us had tried, we also got to try these genmai financiers! That was perfect, since I loooove genmai flavors. The cookies were SO GOOD. I may go back and buy a bag of those, they were that good.

After our delicious lunch, we headed off for a walk to enjoy the beautiful weather. It was 80 degrees and sunny, and just perfect weather for a walk. (What a contrast to Friday when it was 50s, raining, and felt like summer was never going to arrive!) We started out walking around HK and Williams-Sonoma, but then found ourselves in Central Park. We started out by Columbus Circle, exited by the Met on the East Side, and then went back through the park until we came out on the southern edge of the AMNH. That walk is why I'm quite tired right now. But it felt so good to walk for hours.

Then it was time for dinner! We thought about going to the UWS branch of Shake Shack (we have only gone to the one in Madison Square Park), but the line was out onto the sidewalk. Instead, we headed over to Earthen Oven and had some delicious Indian food!

Like the collage? :) I just had so many fun pictures from today, and the only way to fit them all in well was to make collages.

They started us out with pappadums, and the chutneys were so flavorful. We got an appetizer of chicken samosas (one of my favorites) and then for entrees moved onto saffron chicken tikka and chana pindi. Oh - can't forget the garlic nan! Everything was so flavorful and we were really happy we chose to go there tonight. Another good restaurant to add to the list of places we can go to near the park!

In summary, it was a really nice weekend (for the most part). Really short and I can't believe it's over, but it was nice to have a break for a weekend where we could just relax and get some stuff done. Need one of those weekends every once in awhile. I'm off to stretch before bedtime!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Independence Day

Apparently I can watch Independence Day over and over again without getting sick of it. I don't know how many times I have seen this movie, but it's a LOT. And I still cry at the same spot.

Saturday, June 06, 2009


I have noticed something puzzling when looking at people's registries online.

It says quantity purchased with a number... but quantity requested: 0.

Is it an error? Was it really requested but the system has it wrong? Or did someone go through the trouble of getting the registry scanned so the gift reports on the registry, even though it was never on the couples' registry? If it's the last one... why buy something the couple didn't put on the registry?

(This is not about us. Just wondering since I keep seeing this...)


If only the office were closer to Poseidon Bakery. Then I could get this for lunch whenever I wanted! SO good.

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Thursday, June 04, 2009


I can't believe it's been 20 years since the protests at Tiananmen Square.  It doesn't feel like it was that long ago.
1989 was the year I was supposed to visit China for the first time.  We were going to go on a family trip.  I got my first passport.  And then the unthinkable happened.  I probably don't need to tell you that we didn't go and were shocked about what happened.
No real point to this post.  Just something I was thinking about when I realized what date today is.


I really hope Asuka makes the top 20. I think she's my favorite right now.

And I really hope the end of tonight's preview with the brothers is a misdirect. I hope.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Mental Thoughts

Random thoughts from past my bedtime:

1. I have had enough of bugs for today. (Well, I never want to think about them or see them or have them around me, but enough is enough for today!) First, some background. In my first office, I rarely had any flies. Once in a while, they would come in from outside, but that was it. When I moved into my solo office, the first time I got a chance to look at it, I saw all these bug carcasses on the windowsill. Gross! I didn't want to blame the previous occupant, but I had never had that problem before! Then, they didn't go away once I was there, and I reported it to the building who said that it wasn't that uncommon since apparently the flies like to eat this glue or rat poison that's in the vents. After a year or so, they finally vacuumed the vents out and the bugs were for the most part gone. That is, until a few weeks (or is it months? I have lost track of time) ago. They're baaaack! More dead carcasses, dying flies and active ones flitting into my forehead. Joy. I am sick of seeing dead flies and they give me the chills!

So, back to today. My office neighbor apparently came in to find about 30 dead flies on his windowsill. Ewww. I did not go look to corroborate this, but they got maintenance to agree to send an exterminator. For all of our offices with fly problems. I only saw 2 dead ones on my windowsill but when I started moving folders, found 4 more. Ewww. Turns out the exterminator was a maintenance man with a vacuum and a can of Raid, but so be it. Hopefully it works. Eww. Just recently, at home, a spider decided to torment me. Sigh. Oh - and right after our whole discussion at work about the dead flies - a live one decided to make an appearance. Eww.

2. I'm so tired. I don't know how to get rid of the tiredness. And I have to get up early to go to the dentist tomorrow morning. I seriously dislike going to the dentist.

3. I watched both episodes of Mental tonight. It's interesting. I never got into House, but people say this is basically House in a psych ward. I don't love it, but I like it enough to keep watching it... especially since it's summer and there's nothing else on except the Mentalist repeats.

4. I did not eat well today. I did ok until lunch, and then had cookies during my afternoon meeting, and got chips and guacamole with dinner. I don't really think I needed the chips; I think what I really wanted was the guacamole. And then I ate Sour Patch Kids. Bad me! Ugh. I only have a little more than 100 days!

5. Uploading old pictures from 2005... and life just seemed so much simpler. Sigh. We're getting old.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Earl Grey

I am intrigued by the Earl Grey flavor of Shake Shack custard. Anyone know if it's good?

Monday, June 01, 2009


Can your Myers-Briggs type change?

I always thought I was INFJ (or possibly INTJ) but apparently two different quizzes have said I'm ISFJ.


And I'm answering them truthfully...

Although now I'm searching old messages in Gmail, and apparently I was ISFJ back in October 2007 too. Maybe I'm remembering old results from undergrad? Or perhaps I'm just remembering wrong...

Dixie Kitchen

How can they shut down Dixie Kitchen?  Argh.