Monday, December 24, 2007

Thank Heaven For Grandma

We had been having a time of it trying to do the night thing with Luke. Until my mother came by yesterday and showed us the uber-mummy-grandma swaddle. Which put him out like a light IN THE CRADLE! The cradle in which he had previously screamed in as if we put him into an enormous venus fly trap.

Tommy and I actually both slept last night. At the same time. With the lights out.

*Sigh*

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Not Advisable A Week After Having a Baby

Watching any movie that made you bawl BEFORE you were pregnant. I'm embarrassed to admit that the movie in question is "Three Men and a Baby".

After


Here is my brand new darling, adorable, sweet baby boy, Lucas Ryne. Born Friday, December 14 at 6:46 a.m., weighing in at 7 lbs. 8 oz. and measuring 20 inches. He's an absolute delight (when not feeding hourly) and the most handsome baby around. Poor little guy - I thought he was a girl.


It wasn't easy getting him to the outside world either. I was in labor from 9:15 a.m. on Thursday. We made it to the hospital about 8:00 p.m. By that time I was in so much pain that I was vomitting profusely. So I caved. I asked for the epidural. Which of course slowed everything down. I made it to 8cm and then came to a halt. So Lucas made his entrance in a different way, via a C-Section and even then refused to come out!


But he's here with us now and we wouldn't trade him for anything in the world. Even if he does seem to have his days and nights mixed up.


Before


This is about an hour before we left for the hospital.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Nasty Note

Left on the windshield of a HUGE Lincoln Navigator that was parked so badly that the person next to them would have trouble backing out:

If you can't properly park your truck, don't drive it. This is rude and dangerous.

And....while leaving it on the windshield, I noticed that the genius driving the truck left their purse in plain sight, on the front seat.

Loser.

Because an Ambulance In Front Of This Place Wasn't Funny Enough

I'm so glad I got this picture. This sign has been up for a few weeks now, but I always pass it and am going too fast to take a picture. I'm wondering what kind of application process it has. And yes, it's the same place that a while back had an ambulance in front of it.

37 Weeks

Okay. Here it is, the gratuitous belly shot. I'm about 37 weeks or so in this photo. Which also showcases my messy fridge (I've since reorganized the front of it). Baby Jordan says "hi!"

Productive Weekend

I've been a busy little bee this weekend. Friday night was the only "lay around and do nothing" part of it. Saturday I spent most of the day with Diane. I did the rest of the baby's clothes while we ate delicious, humongous wraps (smoked turkey, pepperjack cheese, chipotle mayo, bacon, avocado), watched "Pirates of the Carribbean: Dead Man's Chest" and just chilled.

But here's all my accomplishments (which always make me feel better to see in black and white):

Finished washing baby's clothes
Finished ALL shower thank yous
Finished writing birth plan
Made baked oatmeal
Got more Christmas shopping done
Set up new stereo
Put together diaper disposal pail
Made headway on referral letter for Kick and Diane

AND....I plan on making a nice dinner tonight WITH a dessert and everything. I figure, I better do Betty Crocker-ish stuff like this now while I still can. If inspired, I might put away the clean baby clothes and/or start to organize and wrap Christmas presents. Ooh and henna my hair. But I'm snuggled under a blanket with a warm laptop, 2 snuggly monkeys and the Sunday Times. Hmmm....

Thursday, December 06, 2007

I'll Bet These Are The Same Women Who Picked Out Their Own Engagement Rings

I don't think I could ever be disgusted enough by this. It's an article in the Times about women who DEMAND a "baby bauble" or (even more disgustingly referred to as) "push present". They think they are ENTITLED to jewelry for having a baby. How about being happy that your child is healthy? Or how about being thankful that you live in an area that has adequate healthcare to help you deliver the child.

It goes right back to the awful holiday commercials with Bitchy Wife demanding jewelry and dropping too many hints.

I hope half of these husbands drop their preggo wives on their swollen asses. That's the thing - the men are just as big morons for giving in to such awful demands. This is yet another reason I stopped going to babycenter.com because this was one of the topics, "What are you getting as a push present?"

Losers.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Why The Holidays Grate On Me

The holidays are all fine and good. Time to spend with family and reflecting on what's really important and all that.

However. There's one result of the holidays that drives me crazy to no end.

Bad Holiday commercials.

They can be broken down into categories so predictable and obvious that it actually pains me to watch them:

Smarmy, Sappy Commercial. This can be for jewelry where the female finds the male so so romantic and wonderful because he bought her some sparkly bauble. It can be for some brand of coffee that brings the roving college student home. It can be for something that brings the whole family together in matching sweaters. But it's always overtly sappy and annoying. And has awful, awful music accompanying it.

Overly Expensive Commercial. Lexxus is guilty of this. There's usually some ploy to get Mom or Dad outside to the driveway to see the shiny new car with the red bow on it. How the heck do you buy a car without your spouse knowing? Are they just targeting the demographic of people who have $40,000 laying around collecting dust?? It drives me crazy to no end.

Uber-Technology Commercial. As much as I am a nerd, (merely a high nerd, but a nerd no less) and love technology, I despise unnecessary technology. Why do we need movies in the palms of our hands? Why do you need access to so much? I don't get it. So when I see commercials for phones that do everything including walking the dog, it incites me about technology in general. And the technology powers that be are simply evil for using the holidays as an excuse to tell you why you need this unnecessary technology.

Greedy Child Commercial. Why do pre-teens need cell phones? Why do they need phones that walk the dog (see above)? Why are their parents so hideous if they don't get one? These commercials disgust me most. It's as if you're being told you're a horrible parent who does not understand their child if you don't bend to their every whim. Which leads me to the.....

Bitchy Wife Commercial. Wife basically berates the husband into getting her what she wants. Gross. Do yourself a favor guy and leave her now, because this will only get worse and lead to the greedy children.

Bah humbug. I'm guessing the 4th or 5th circle of hell is reserved for commercial producers who prey on the holidays. Or so you'd hope.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Weekend in Review

It's always bittersweet when a holiday weekend comes to an end. You wish it could last longer and that you could kick back a little longer, but you also yearn and itch to get back into the regular swing of things. But I had the greatest weekend:

Wednesday: It's never a bad things when your weekend starts on a Wednesday. I actually went straight home from work and started cooking. Made the baked ravioli and then relaxed the rest of the night, which culminated in the viewing of the new Project Runway episode. The contestants this time around seem very talented. I'm rooting for Chris - the beautiful purple dress he made for the first episode has me cheering for him. I was disappointed in SJP as a guest judge - I'm so so so tired of when people label actresses as fashion "mavens" or "icons". Audrey Hepburn was an icon, Diane Keaton is something of an icon - they have their own style. I just hate that anyone with a stylist who has high-end designers on their speed-dial is considered a "fashion icon".

Thursday: Woke up early-ish. Prepped and made the green beans with carmelized onions, pumpkin pie and packed it all up. Went to Mom and Dad's and had a nice dinner and got some major face-time in with Ismaeel. Ate too much, went hom and watched 2 episodes of CSI; last week's which included Jorja Fox's swan song and this week's which was equally good.

Friday: Lounged in bed. Caught up on my reading at chow.com and blogged a little. Then off to the library where I picked up a book for Tommy and returned some others. Then a lesson to teach and then picked up my laundry and dinner. We've been loving those thin "crispy cheesy" pizzas from Domino's. It's got that cooked cheese consistency on the top layer and the gooey cheese in the middle. Can't go wrong with more than one form of cheese.

Saturday: Thought I was going to lunch with Diane and then to see The Mist. We head to the restaurant and POOF a surprise baby shower! I was flummoxed and bowled over. I was (for lack of a better word) showered with presents and ate a delicious blt. The cake was chocolate with chocolate icing - and I have 2 takeout containers full of it in the fridge. Annie, Diane and Mom really outdid themselves - it was a really nice afternoon and everyone had a good time. Then I took all the clothes and hit Diane's to wash everything. So she and I got a little more girlie time out of it - wating pizza while watching Heroes.

Sunday: R&R. Started my day off by watching Marie Antoinette - not a bad movie - I have to admit - I really like Kirsten Dunst as an actress. Then I was inspired into putting away as much baby stuff as I could. But the room is closer to being finished and now I'm resting, intermittently watching CSI reruns, reading my latest issue of Saveur and nibbling on whatever suits me.

Ode to My Sister

Much like I created an ode to my husband (who has been just amazing lately), I wanted to sing the praises of other people in my life. Life's too short not to let the people we love let them know.

My sister just helped to throw me the loveliest shower. She's been doing the "single parent while her husband is on business" thing, juggling taking Issy to work with her, actual work, commuting with a 5-month old and then on top of that, prepping for my shower. I've actually been crying off and on all weekend just touched immensely by what she, Diane and my mom did.

But Annie. Annie who showed up when I was diagnosed with cancer with a fabulous "chemo-friendly" wardrobe and new books. Annie who sent flowers as soon as she heard about me being sick. Annie who supplemented my maternity wardrobe and didn't think I was stealing her thunder when I told her about my pregnancy 6 months into hers.

Annie is the best gift giver ever. Seriously. Whether it's something you need or just something you want, she somehow knows and it ends up either under the Christmas tree or next to your birthday cake. Or even just at the dinner table "just because".

My sister has grown into a most wonderfully empathetic soul who will always have time on the phone for a giggle about old times, compare notes on our parents or advice about how to deal with various pregnancy concerns. So I raise a glass to my baby sister who has consistently put others ahead of herself and has grown into an amazing mother and a fabulous confidante, cheerleader and friend.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I Am So Easily Led

When it comes to food that is.

Fashion fads don't faze me - I didn't go running out to get a "Rachel" haircut, nor have I succumbed to the "skinny jean" trend or the Ugg boot phenomenon.


I don't go crazy for the newest technology. Which is surprising giving how much of a geek I am. (I'm a quick study though and can figure out a new phone or computer appendage without consulting instructions.)

When it comes to food however, I'm just a sheep easily led to believe what glossy magazine ads and snazzy television spots show me. Slap a new sticker on it and I've got all 3 varieties of it in my shopping cart. Tell me about something I've never tried and I'm in the car in search of it. (How I haven't sent Tommy on a wild goose-liver-pate chase during this pregnancy is beyond me.) I mean, easily a third (if not more) of my posts are about food or restaurants. As a foodmonger I subscribe to Saveuer (much more user-friendly than Gourmet), and visit chow.com religiously.


In reading
"The Grinder" a nifty little catch-all blog at Chow, I came across a description of Scotch Eggs ("a Scotch egg is a hard-cooked egg wrapped in a sausage-meat mixture, breaded, and deep-fried"). Where are these? How do I find one? It seems like the most perfect breakfast treat out there for crying out loud. I can't possibly be expected to make them, so where can I find them???

Alright, fine. I'll go eat a bowl of Cheerios with some bananas instead.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Attend the Tale of Sweeny Todd

I've seen it in DVD form twice (the Angela Landsbury version and the San Francisco opera version in concert with Patti LuPone), I've seen it live twice (Hofstra's Gray Wig company and the recent revival with Patti LuPone) and I've played it once. I have NEVER been so excited about a movie coming out as I am about the Tim Burton version of Sweeny Todd. I'm actually giddy and waved my hands around when I saw the trailer the other night.

Johnny Depp as Sweeny, Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett and Alan Ruckman as Judge Turpin. What a cast. And from what I saw, I can honestly say that it looks like Tim Burton captured the whole mood so perfectly. Plus just the way he works with the whole "musical as a medium" thing is brilliant.

Color me excited.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

My Kid's Got Mad Class Yo

So capping off my delightful weekend was a concert given by the Long Island Philharmonic. The program was an "All American" variety, consisting of Bernstein, Barber, Copland, and of course Gershwin. It was probably one of the best, if not the best concert I've ever seen. It opened with Bernstein's 'Overture to Candide' and closed with Gershwin's 'Rhapsody in Blue'. I got goosebumps and tears in my eyes when they did "Adagio for Strings" and again during "Rhapsody in Blue". And it was just obvious that the music director, David Wiley was just enjoying the hell out of it. He was smiling and bopping along while conducting. That's probably what I enjoyed most - seeing him and the piano soloist for Rhapsody enjoy the heck out of playing that. It was almost like a series of private jokes between the two of them.

But apparently I wasn't the only one who enjoyed it. Baby Jordan woke up up during 'Candide', and was incredibly active the rest of the concert. They seemed to like 'Fanfare for the Common Man' which opens with HUGE drum blasts and a gong. I kid you not though, the entire concert this kid was all over the place. Which means either they really liked it or were being highly bothered by it all. I'm hoping for the former!

Just a Crazy, Cool, Awesome Weekend

So I spent a great weekend with my sister and nephew down in their part of NYC. It was something of a 'girls' weekend' together as my brother-in-law was business-traveling to India. So I wanted to help her out and have some fun.

Friday night got me to the city in one piece. I actually dragged my packed Vera Bradley duffel and purse and pregnant self up and down the subway stairs and to their home. I then flopped on the couch and caught my breath for the next half hour. We just relaxed Friday night - ordered in some Italian food and oohed and ahhed over my delicious nephew. He's just the smiliest baby. Seriously. He's only upset when he's a.) Hungry b.) Wet c.) Uncomfortable in some way. But he snuggled up to me all weekend and let me kiss and hug him as much as I wanted. He's also a busybody. He NEEDS to know what's going on around him. He cranes his neck to see what the ceiling has going on and looks at everybody. Too cute.



So I crashed early Friday night. Saturday we putzed around, reading the NY Times sections, poking fun at the wackos who submit their wedding photos to the "Style" section. I forgot how great the Sunday Times is, all the goodies in there. I might have to start picking it up. (Annie got those parts Saturday since she's a subscriber - what a good NYer she is!) But in reading the Book Review section I found some books to order from my library. We ventured out - chilly but sunny - and had a nice day. Brunched at Silver Spurs - a diner I've always wanted to try but never got around to. Somehow, on a Saturday at 2pm, we were seated almost immediately. I had a wrap with scrambled eggs, mozzarella, roasted tomatoes and avocado. It was the avocado that pulled me in. Delicious. Accompanied by a vanilla egg cream, the perfect brunch type dish.

Then we walked around a little, searching for the Dessert Truck. Luckily we found it. If you don't feel like following the link to find out more, it's a truck, much like an ice cream truck that is run by a former pastry chef for Le Cirque (Le Cirque!! A four-star restaurant!!!) and an MBA student from Columbia. Talent meets genius. What a brilliant idea. I had the chocolate bread pudding with the bacon creme anglaise. Annie had the chocolate cake rimmed with sea salt. It's probably the closest I will come to a 4-star meal! But it was just fun. The chocolate bread pudding was heavenly. Like a souffle.

Sunday was a nice, relaxing day as well. Just hung out kissing and hugging my nephew. We were able to get Annie a much-needed haircut. Lunch was at Southwest NY which again was tasty, but also nice and quiet - not many people there. Had the best chicken tortilla soup ever. Then home again where I relaxed a few before catching a cab back to Penn Station. A really really nice weekend. When else would I eat four-star desserts and read the Times???

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Who Are You, Who Who Who Who?

Subject line courtesy of watching CSI marathons. But I'm starting to get uber-curious as to this little person getting ready to make their grand appearance. It makes you question your own sense of identity and who you are. I recently was able to email someone I was close friends with in high school. And in relaying the events of the last 15 years or so, she responded back by saying she always remembers me being incredibly optimisitic. And that made me wonder what parts of my personality have remained the same since high school. What parts have changed? What parts of me changed after going through the whole cancer thing? What parts will change after this baby is born?

Enough introspection. After our sono on Thursday we discover Baby Jordan has turned and is ready to rock and roll. *Phew* I was nervous about that. Hiccups occur frequently as does scootching around. This baby is definitely not a morning person. I feel most movement after about 10 or 11 a.m. or so. If I give him/her a nudge when I wake up, I get a swat telling me, "I'm not awake, please leave me be." Cutie. I still think this baby is a girl who will be the clone of her daddy, who is also not of the morning variety. We shall see..... If nothing else, this baby looks an awful lot like their daddy.

Monday, November 12, 2007

You Know You Want Some

Need a tasty snack that satisfies the sweet and the salty? One that you won't be able to stop eating?

1. Find your nearest Trader Joe's.
2. Pick up a container each of their a.)Chocolate covered pretzel balls with non-pareils b.)Mini peanut butter cups and a package of their salted cashews.
3. Open all 3 packages and sample from each of them to make sure they taste okay.
4. Mix them all together.
5. Put in a tupperware marked "Dry Lentils" to protect them from being pilfered.

You got your salty, your sweet and the salt from the cashews gets on the chocolates.

Snack heaven.

I've Always Found Carbon Dioxide To Be A Real Gas

Somehow, Tommy and I have different ideas on what makes something funny. While he finds the abusive slapstick of the Three Stooges hysterical, I go for the physical comedy of Jerry Lewis. Today was a lovely day off. I lounged, I food shopped, I returned library books (before their due date even) and came home to make homemade chicken and dumplings. But right now, while things simmer and cook, I've got The Nutty Professor running for background noise.

No. Not the cheesy, rip-off re-make Eddie Murphy used to manufacture his comeback. The 1963 original with Stella Stevens and Jerry Lewis. Why? Why do I love it so? Probably mostly because my dad shared it with me when I was about 8 or 10 and found it to be HYSTERICAL. You show a 10-year old Jerry Lewis stretching his arms from the dumbbell and blowing up his classroom and using his pocket watch that plays "While The Caissons Keep Rolling Along" and see how much they laugh.

I love the up-to-the-moment-hip fashions that the alter ego Buddy Love wears. I love that the score of the entire movie is jazzy and neat. I love the final scene where Buddy Love transforms back to Professor Kelp before our eyes while making a heartfelt and suprisingly un-corny speech.

To get away from the nasty, mean, crude stuff that passes for humor and comedy today, go rent a Jerry Lewis movie or two.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Easy Like Saturday Morning

I'm cozy. I've got a warm laptop on my, well, lap. I've got two monkeys snuggled up to me. I've got a spinach and artichoke souffle from Panera Bread await me to devour it. And I've got the movie, "Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte" awaiting me to restart it. I've got a matinee in about 6 hours or so, but it seems so far away that I feel like I have a whole day to go before it comes.

I finished "Service Included" about a waiter's 2 years spent working at the famed Per Se restaurant in the Time Warner Building in Manhattan. I've been devouring food writing lately. (Yes, pun intended) It's comforting, it gives me ideas. I like reading about restaurants I will with almost certainty never step foot in or experience for myself. It gives me a little glimpse into a world that I can experience on a lesser level. A $25 three-course prix fixe dinner at Gabrielle's in Rockville Centre, NY may not be equivalent to the $250 nine-course tasting menu offered by Thomas Keller at Per Se, but for me, it's good enough.

So after finishing a book about truffles, caviar and extravagant menus, I felt it necessary to treat us to a nice breakfast. Panera may not be quail eggs in an omlete, but it's a nice way to celebrate a Saturday morning. Besides, how can you go wrong with a croissant reshaped into a bowl for eggs, spinach and artichokes?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Saga Continues

So, all day I'm worried sick about the fallout from the Missing Sub at Thursday's Matinee saga. I actually cried a little over it. I mean, my reputation is what's on the line here, and that's just not cool. So I'm sweating it out all day, worried about it to the point where I really don't even want to go. But I do.

Long story short?

The sub LIED. Lied straight out and said it was my fault that there was no cellist. Ummmmm....no. I have documentation. Emails confirming that said sub would be in that seat on November 1st at 2:00 p.m. So my reputation is fine. The sub's? Not so much I don't think. AND I had a great show on Saturday night and the music director bought the first round of drinks (don't worry, all I had was pineapple juice) and showered his principles (no subs at that show) with love. So it turned out to be all good.

But I mean, can you believe that?

Friday, November 02, 2007

Chaos to the Googleplexth Degree

Yesterday was very black and white. It was either supremely good stuff happening, or supremely bad stuff happening. Which is interesting, because I'm a huge "the universe is balanced" believer, but was not making for a very cohesive day.

Bad Stuff
Work computer turned itself off about 4 times. Which we figured was due to my gazillion songs on/in iTunes. So I was given an external hard drive to keep my tunage and productivity up.

Find out that my sub for the afternoon matinee show didn't show up due to his writing the date down incorrectly in his planner. Ummmm......jury's still out on this one. I'm not quite sure how to process it. I mean, it was obvious that he felt horrible, as I would if god forbid I ever did that. But I'm still...unsettled by it all.

Work is just crazy. Tons of projects in tons of different directions.

Good Stuff
A luncheon I was invited to (toted as a tasting with Lydia of the Lydia's Italian Kitchen fame) turned out to be a surprise shower for me and Baby Jordan. I was so touched and so surprised that I started to cry. It was such an incredibly nice gesture that I really was bowled over. And it was a nice afternoon. Plus I got the Vera Bradley bag I wanted and a really beautiful elephant bank from Tiffany's.

Found out an event that was going to happen at a lovely location than on campus. Having a huge event on campus would have been a nightmare of logistics.

Went to Verizon Wireless to add Tommy to my plan and was able not only to get him a phone but myself a new one as well and because I procured both phones on one day, they were buy-one-get-one AND I had a voucher for a new phone for myself due to my contract being up, so my phone was free. Meaning both phones were free.

But all in all, I just melted into the couch when I got home last night. I plan on doing more melting today after work.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What's a Music Geek to Do?

It's Halloween and I'm in a quandry. What do I listen to today? Do I go with WFUV who is playing "guilty pleasure songs" today? Do I find recordings of Robert Goulet to pay tribute to him? Do I listen to the classical station of the NY Times who will surely be playing things like "Danse Macabre" and "In the Hall of the Mountain King" - an intellectual celebration of Halloween??

I went with WFUV. I mean, c'mon. They're playing things like Kenny Loggins, Genesis, James Brown singing "Hot Pants" and M.C. Hammer. If that's not inducing some fun in your workday, what would?

But I do feel bad about Robert Goulet. I'll have to play him tomorrow. RIP Mr. Goulet.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Mmmm......Gooey Cheese

I'm loving grilled cheese lately. And I've perfected the process completely, resulting in perfectly toasty, gooey cheese goodness. The tricks are:
* Using both American AND Fontina cheese.
* Cooking the sandwich over low heat slowly.

Perfection can't be rushed.

Friday, October 26, 2007

FORTUNEoff's

We've had gift cards to Fortunoff's since our wedding. Almost 5 years ago. Fortunoff's, I've discovered is one of those places where you feel bad spending money there. Even if the money isn't yours. So I went there looking for a Vera Bradley overnight bag. I figure, if I'm going to get one, it might as well be a nice one, right? So I look around and pick one out. (Isn't it pretty?)
Then I figure, I need a watch. One that works. With minute tick marks on the face. And I'm fairly picky. I want a leather (or pleather) band and a square or rectangular face. Simple. So I go to where I see watches and notice names like Bulova and Mr. Fancy Expensive Watch. So I figure maybe they have a section with lesser watches like Timex. So I ask someone and they say, "Oh yes, we have another "fun watch" section outside to the right." Okay. So I go outside to the right and see the "fun watch" section. Which consists of Tommy Hilfiger, Fendi, and Coach. Who wears a Coach watch for fun?????

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Just Get Off the Road

I'm amazed by the amount of stupid-ness I see driving to and from work. Mostly to. Maybe the morning brings out the stupid-ness in people. I don't know. All I know is that I've come up with the following:

*I'm not psychic. I can't tell if you're changing lanes if you don't use your turn signal. There's a reason it's there. Use it.

*If you're not moving faster than the lane to the right of you, get out of the one you're in. The left lanes are called "PASSING LANES" for a reason. They're not there for you to park your ass in for the length of the parkway.

*Your vanity plate/rear window decal/license plate border is not cute. It's not witty. It's not funny. It's just pissing me off even more and making you look like a loser. (Hence my start of collecting loser vanity plates.)

*Merging is not something you can be creative with. Just get onto the parkway as soon as you can and get out of the way. There's no reason to zoom around traffic trying to accomplish this so you can get 5 car lengths ahead of everyone else.

*I'd also like to know how those ridiculous landscaping trucks are legal. How is it remotely legal to have grass clippings and other assorted stuff flying out the back of your truck. How is it remotely legal to have 4 or 5 illegal immigrants hanging out in the back of said truck? If they were so concerned with the illegal immigrant problem here, they could seriously just follow these trucks around and solve a good portion of it.

There. Rant complete. Thank you.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

An Open Letter to Old Navy

Dear Old Navy,
Please send your pants designer back to design school. Or at least get him some face time with Tim Gunn. I don't know why your pants designer despises women's waists so much that just about every pair in your stores are "low waisted". Nor do I know why you'd create "low waisted" maternity pants. They fit okay in the dressing room, but after wearing them for an hour and a half I want to rip them off. My growing belly needs support and I certainly don't need to be hitching my pants up every time I get up off my chair.

Nor do I understand why your pants designer doesn't subscribe to the theory that "less is more." Why do most of your pants have inexplicable pockets or drawstrings around the ankles? Why do my "low waisted" maternity pants have the most unflattering pockets? And why are there darts around my knees?

I understand that a large majority of your consumers are the youthful, hip, slender types, but there are more of us out there. You used to make great, simple clothing. And your dresses and tops are affordable and stylish. But your pants have just always left me sad.

Sincerely,
One Who Cannot Wear Your Pants Even When She Isn't Pregnant

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Okay. So I tried doing the "good mom" thing and was visiting "babycenter.com" frequently. I liked the little calendar they had that gave me a little tidbit each day. I liked being able to click on my week that I was at and get a little synopsis of what was going on.

But then they changed their format. Now I can't find anything. No little weekly calendar and all I get is my weekly synopsis. So I figure let me try the bulletin boards there and see what other women who are due in December are up to.

BIG MISTAKE.

They're all crazy. Seriously. They all have little animated cartoons of themselves all pregnant-like in their signature. They all post things like "What's for dinner tonight?" Ummmm.....let's see, I have to teach a lesson and I work all day, so whatever Trader Joe's is demoing is for dinner. The following posts there weirded me out:

"What outfit can't you wait to dress your baby in?" - How about I'm just looking forward to getting them out of my body in one piece let alone thinking about what I'm going to dress them in.

"What are you wearing to your shower?" Ummm.....aren't showers supposed to be a surprise?

They just all give me the heebie jeebies.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Top Chef Challenge

I've been dying for chocolate and peanut butter lately. Not really in candy form, more so in like a cake or cookie type form. So last night I tried hitting the local 7-11, which is usually a vast resource of snacks that could satisfy any craving. Not so. Nothing other than candy with both chocolate and peanut butter. Not even any Funny Bones. Grrrrrrr. So I had to pull a Top Chef. I bought a brownie that looked fairly tasty, sliced it horizontally and slathered some Trader Joe's creamy peanut butter in there and nuked the whole thing in the microwave. Pretty creative, if I do say so myself, and it scratched the itch. For the time being.
How interesting would a pregnant lady craving challenge be on Top Chef?? More apt for their quick-fire challenge, you take a selection of pregnant women and the chefs have to appease their changing craving. Case in point, on my way to work I wanted eggs so I treated myself to a Panera souffle. By the time I got to work, souffle in hand, I wanted a corn muffin. *sigh*

Friday, October 12, 2007

Only a "High Nerd"

Maureen took this nerd test and posted her result. Since Tommy loves calling me "nerdo" I thought I'd see if there was substance to his claim. Apparently there is some credence to his labeling me as such.

The sad part? I had wished I did better on it.


Monday, October 08, 2007

Mmmmm......More Food

I decided I wanted to go food shopping last night after the show so I wouldn't have to muck up my day off today with a chore. Which is funny, because I LOVE food shopping. I love how organized everything is. I love that walking up and down the aisles just opens a million possibilities for things I can cook or bake or prepare. I love everything about supermarkerts. But I decided last night that it'd be the perfect night for a simple dinner. So I bought greens, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella. I bought that pepper that comes in its own little grinder (can we say sucker? I should have bought a real grinder and peppercorns, more economical and environmentally sound in the long run) in preparation for making a nice salad. Which was just perfect. And it went along with my all-time favorite Trader Joe's item. A pizza that's more like a tart with a thin crust, creme fraiche, grueyer cheese, carmelized onions and ham. I sigh inside just thinking about it. I could easily eat a whole one myself. But it was the perfect Sunday dinner.

And today, the 2 most highly anticipated items on my list to do are to make homemade macaroni and cheese with a new recipe that comes highly acclaimed on chow.com and a pumpkin pie to stink up the house with yummy baking smells. *sigh*

Lost in the Music

I had completely forgotten what yesterday was. Utterly and completely. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Should I be cognisant of the fact that 3 years ago yesterday I was diagnosed with cancer and started a long climb uphill to being healthy again? Or should I just let it fade into the past, as far as it'll go?

I was checking my email before dashing out to the Sunday matinee just in case there were any last minute directives from the music director. But there was an email from my dad. It was a journal entry had made 2 Februarys ago about a nice dinner we had shared and how it gave us some normalcy from the then hard routine of radiation treatments (I had driven 50 miles from work to radiation and then another 30 or so home - 5 days a week for 3 1/2 weeks). And under that was a new entry about how far everything has come and how I have this new miraculous event going on and where we all were 3 years ago. And WHAM! It was like a wet towel hit me in the face. How could I have forgotten? I mean, fall always reminds me of that hellacious time, where we didn't know what was going on with me, what was wrong, what would fix it. And I just lost it. Cried and cried and cried. Luckily, it's a long-ish, quiet drive to the theatre because I cried the whole way there. It was as if something had been bottled up for a long time and had to be let out.

By the time I got to the theatre, I was a little more composed. Crying had stopped and I was ready to just go it and play. I decided to just throw myself into the score in front of me and get lost in it. And it worked. I played really well (or so I thought!), and enjoyed the music. It's really a good score and we're at the point where we know our parts and are really just cooking together. The tempos are familiar and we just click along with it. I'm not even feeling pukey when those 2 honkin' cello solos come up now, I'm more comfortable with those.

So even though I was dragging my feet to get up and ready yesterday, it was the best thing in the world for me to have played. Cleared my head, got me going and made me feel good. While I was playing I kept saying to myself, "F&ck you cancer, you haven't taken ANYTHING away from me." A little cliched, yes, but true.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Too Funny

Coming home from IHOP (mmm...pumpkin pancakes) we saw an ambulance in front of the topless bar, or rather "gentleman's club" as they tote themselves as being. We tried thinking of the various scenarios that would warrant an ambulance at such an establishment:

An 80-year-old gentelman got too excited looking at boobies.
A bar fight.
An exotic dancer slipped in her stilettos off the stage.

It's horrible, but we just laughed the whole way home.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Mmmmm.......Bacon

This baby is all about loving bacon. Now don't get your panties in a bind, I'm not eating it every other day. Just in clumps of days. With a few days off in between. But I made this discovery. It's called a "Chicken Carbonara" sandwich at Quiznos. It's got white meat chicken, mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, bacon and BACON ALFREDO sauce on it. And they toast it on sesame seeded bread so it's all toasty and warm. It's the tastiest thing I've had in a long time. And helps me get through a 3 hour show. PLUS.....I discovered that Quiznos has the most deliciously soft chocolate chip cookies (that they'll warm for you if you so desire) which are essential in getting the blood sugar back up at intermission of said 3 hour show.

Another Opening, Another Show

So 'Jekyll and Hyde' opened last night at the "new theatre." What a hassle. First, parking there is abominable. It's either get there super-early or drive around for 20 minutes sweating and swearing, hoping someone pulls out of a spot. So luckily, I get there early and get a decent spot. Sit in the car and relax a little. Get to the theatre. There's a sizeable reception going on. I pull my cello in behind me and am told, "Ummm yeah, we're going to have to ask you to go around to the stage door on the side because we have a big client here tonight." What? Do you not see I'm lugging a cello behind me? Maybe you don't see that I'm largely pregnant. And you want me to do what? So I lug some more, find the stupid-ass door and the stairs which look like they were built on a 65 degree incline. Luckily, someone came in behind me and carried my cello down. I'm coming in a different door from now on and will sneer at anyone giving me flack. Then....we're told we can't go to the lobby at intermission. What am I? One of those immigrants traveling in steerage? THEN......we go to the lobby at the end of the show to get paid and we're told we have to put our instruments in the car and come back if we want to get a drink at the bar. I'm wondering what their deal is with musicians. You'd think they'd want to flaunt the fact that they have real musicians playing and not canned music. I don't get it. PLUS....the actors jumped lines during the honkin', high, exposed solo which made me sound like an a$$hole.

Luckily we get paid:
-fairly well.
-weekly.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Apparently I Have 3 Heads
Since that's the look I got last night at lamaze when the instructor asked, "So, is anyone here NOT planning on having an epidural?" and I was the only one who raised their hand. I seriously was waiting for people to come up to me and ask me why I wasn't planning on one. (Notice I say I'm not planning on one - this is not to say I can't change my mind. But I'd like to avoid it if I can.)

My feelings are this. I had 6 rounds of chemo. Very very aggressive chemo. Six rounds of 2-day protocols where in one day I had 3 hard core drugs put through my system - not to mention the drug to ward off nausea, the drug to keep my white count up, the drug to keep my red count up and the honkin' bag of saline I'd have to finish before I was let free from my i.v. tether. I have issues now with taking medications I don't have to. I feel like I got my fill thank you. I steer clear of medicines if I can. I take Tylenol only when I can't function and take cough syrup if I can't sleep. So if I can turn down medications I will.

I had a bone marrow biopsy. That means I had LARGE needles pounded into the back crests of my pelvis. So needless to say I have issues with needles in my back now.

So there you have it. Like I say, I plan on no epidural. I might get in there and beg them to cover me with needles to give me drugs. But I want to do as much research as I can to find ways to naturally deal with the pain.

(This was especially addressed to the large mouth-breathing lummox who sits next to us in lamaze. He looked horrified that I didn't want one.)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Nice, Productive Sunday
Sundays don't get much better than when you can relax AND get lots o'things done. My accomplishments for Sunday include:

  • food shopping
  • going to a wake (which really isn't an accomplishment, but I felt good that we went)
  • going to the laundromat to do laundry (nothing is better than clean clothes)
  • changing the strings on my cello (I always forget what a huge difference new strings make. I felt like Rostropovich after changing them and giving them a whirl.)
  • practicing a few spots in Jeckyll and Hyde (not too tough, but there are definitely 2 spots where I couldn't feel more exposed if I was playing naked)
  • returning library books (on time no less!)
  • going back to the supermarket up at the top of this list and getting money back on something they waaaaay overcharged me for
  • using my raincheck for the 3/$5 Pepperidge Farms frozen cakes offer at said supermarket
  • getting myself some Japanese food (no, no sushi, don't worry)

Sundays like that are all sorts of good.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Next Time You Get a Premonition, Don't Tell Me
Watched this movie with Diane over the weekend. I'm usually very ready to overlook plot holes in the interest of the movie as a whole, but this was just bad. It was like they said, "Okay, here are the rules for this movie." And then promptly tossed them out. Granted, they tried really hard, but I just couldn't like it. And the more I thought about the movie, the more I disliked it. Sorry Sandra Bullock, usually you're one of my favorites, and you were good in it, but it just wasn't one of your best.
Baby Jordan Watch!
Okay. Deep breath. Today marks the beginning of my third trimester. I'm excited and scared and nervous all at once. It's starting to get a little more....real. But I still am almost waiting for someone to say, "You know, we made a mistake, you're not really pregnant." And at the same time it feels like this time is dragging so slowly and going by so quickly. I mentioned to the dear cowboy the other day that we have less than 90 days to go. His reaction, "Oh my god, really?" So I chimed in that that means he also has less than 90 days left in his semester, which seemed to make him feel a little better. And I don't feel quite so panicked. I picked out a dresser/changing table (okay, it's not really a changing table, but I'm using it as such) that will be arriving October 20 - plenty of time to arrange and organize things. My registry is just about finished, some tweaking left to do on it, but for the most part I've got a good start there. Started the lamaze classes. So I guess we're in pretty good shape. I'm feeling pretty good. A little achy in my hips, but otherwise fine. I do feel quite....larger today though. I guess that's just par for the course from here on out!

So that's the reasoning behind the ticker up top! The countdown really begins now!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Money Don't Buy You Class...or....An Open Letter to the Evil B*tch in the White Jaguar at the Drive Through Window at the New Hyde Park Burger King

I thought I was going to have a lot more time before our first lamaze class last night. I was planning on going to this hip little place called Mud - an outpost of the famous Mud that dispenses coffee to caffeine-craving metro-ers in NYC. But being that I got caught up in work, I found I was going to have to gobble something quick from a drive-through window. So I figured a "flame-broiled" Whopper Jr. with some added bacon would make me somewhat happy. (Not as happy as a grilled panini with bacon, avocado and tomato, but....)


So I pull into BK which has 2 entrances - one in the front and one on the side. This white jaguar pulls slllloooowwwwly into the side entrance, but upon seeing me make my way towards the drive through, hurries up to beat me there. Then, while at the little ordering squawk-box she proceeds to take a very long time ordering. So much so, that I lower my window to see if maybe she's waiting for the person on the other end. Nope. She was drilling all these orders at them and changing them. Hoo boy.


Finally I get to pull up and order my food, which takes seriously less than a minute. I pull up behind her and wait. She gets her change, gets her food and then sits there. Ummmm....you need to move. Now, I don't know about anyone else, but I move up after I get my food, check the bag, and then either go on my merry way, or if something's amiss, I go INSIDE and fix it. I would think that it's rude to hold everyone else up. (However, if I quickly peek in the bag and am still at the window and find something missing that's a different story.) So this woman proceeds to scream "Excuse Me" and HONKS at the window. She then yells at them. And says incredibly nasty things like "Damn Spics."

I kid you not.

It was at this point where I slightly lost it. I don't like to see people abused by someone who thinks they're better than them. I shouted (and I may have used some poor language, but in my defense, I was starving and tired of putting up with this woman). I told her to go into the restaurant. I tell her to get out of the way. I tell her she's holding up the rest of the line. She then yells at me. She asks me "Are you Jewish? You look Jewish" "You f*cking Jew!" I yell back "Apparently money doesn't buy you class, huh?" (I didn't respond that I wasn't because quite honestly, that shouldn't matter) She yells "I'm going to back up and hit your car and blame you." So I counter with, "That's a great idea with all these witnesses here lady."

She then gets in her car and drives off. So either a.) Getting the proper order was not important to her. b.) She did get the right order and was just trying to be a bitch. or c.) The voices in her head told her to drive away before the mob behind her beat her ass.

Lord help her if I see her out and about again.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Why I Think This Baby is a Girl
  • All I want to eat is meat and sweets. Give me a burger and a cupcake and I'm happy.
  • Right after I found out I was pregnant I was called to do a production of "Little Women" and then a production of "Tess."
  • I look TOTALLY different than my sister who had a boy.
  • This is a very mellow baby. So far no temper tantrums while still inside. (Although (s)he doesn't like it when I roll over on my right side - I get a good couple of nudges then.)
  • At our "big" ultrasound, the baby kept his/her hand in front of their face. Very dramatic-like. I have a few shots of a teeny face with a balled up fist next to his/her face and a few with their hand in front of their face as if to say, "Puh-leeze, this is not my awake time, leave me alone."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Nice Things Lately
I've come across these little....pleasantries lately. It's like a little message from the universe saying, "See, things are pretty good most of the time."

  • Letting an older man in front of me on the checkout line. I had a few things, but he had just a carton of milk. He seemed shocked that I wanted to do that. Which made me a little sad, I mean, isn't that just common courtesy? But it was just a tiny gesture that made me feel good the rest of the day.
  • Hearing Judy Collins sing "Both Sides Now". I love that song. It's just so....nostalgic and lulling. I hum it all the time to Baby J.

Actually enjoying a day off from work instead of cramming it with things I "should" do. I did however:
  • Get my car fixed so as it's not a deathtrap anymore. (It was actually to the point where I was embarassed to bring it in.)
  • Get the registry (somewhat) done. There's a few more items to stick on there, but for the most part it's there. (I still can't find a decent snowsuit for this poor kid though)
  • Have a delicious and leisurely breakfast with the cowboy. It was funny - as much as he makes fun of me for my adoration of "Top Chef", after overhearing the QuickFire Challenge (which was to create breakfast in their apartment for Padma), he was dying for eggs.
  • Find a sinfully delicious chocolate-peanut butter shake that comes close to the one I tried at Max Brenner. (Holy land of chocolate)
  • Listening to (a poorly edited and chopped up version of) Rhapsody in Blue on the classical station. I own a slew of recordings of it, but there's nothing like just finding it on the radio for some reason - the random-ness of it...serendipity I guess you could call it. (Or not, as I'm often guilty of misusing words as per cowboy.)

And now I just relax, intermittentdly reading a Howard Hughes biography (after seeing part of The Aviator I was intrigued) and doing puzzles in a Penny Press book.

I need more days like this. Especially before December 17. Thank goodness Columbus Day and Veterans Day are days off too.

Pregnancy Watch '07

I feel like a wayward, horrible mother. I should be furiously journaling. Or scrapbooking every lab result. But I haven't. It's actually been a blissful pregnancy so far; very little nausea, still eating everything I love and adore be it a balogna sandwich or Taco Bell, and I'm still in some of my regular clothes at 6 1/2 months. Baby Jordan is growing bigger by the day and taking up more and more of my lap. I sing and talk to him/her in the car all the time and just wonder "Who are you?" "Who are you going to be?"On a funny note, the baby had hiccups twice today. (S)he doesn't like it when I sleep on my right side and (s)he seems to be a very mellow baby. I'm glad I have a somewhat crazy playing schedule ahead of me otherwise I'd spend every waking minute counting kicks and staring at the ultrasound pictures that I had to put in an album for fear of wearing them out.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Britney Spears' Stunt Double
I kid you not. I was waiting (read: held captive) in the waiting room of the OB's office yesterday for an hour. The larger portion of which I was in close proximity of which can only be described as "Britney Spears' Stunt Double". This woman-child (she wasn't older than early 20's) was dressed in torn, stained sweats that were ill-fitting. (I understand, she recently had a baby, but I mean, c'mon, at least find the clean clothes to wear out of the house) She was chewing her gum so loudly that you could hear it in the next office. Tommy got up to give me his chair since the room was packed. After I settled in, she PUT HER FEET ON THE ARMREST OF MY CHAIR. I was thisclose to saying something, but my inner filter kicked in. So I gave her dagger looks (which of course went over her dim witted head). She spoke on her cellphone to her groomer to have the dog ready that evening "Yeah, have her groomed and her nails clipped." I said loudly to Tommy, "Heh, look at that sign right behind you." The one that said, "Cell phone use prohibited in the office." Not soon enough she was taken in and came out and announced loudly to her companion "Well, they said it's infected." Ewwwww. Just when you think it's safe - there's another Britney out there.
The Neatest Day

So I had the coolest day on Tuesday. Seriously. Friends and I were invited to be a part of a recording for Equity Cares - it's a Christmas cd that they sell after Broadway shows. And our friend needed to flesh out the strings and invited us to play along. It was just the essence of coolness.

So we embarked out for Manhattan's theater district Tuesday morning, making great time and finding parking easily. We walk to the recording studio (which was sandwiched between a great looking restaurant and a strip club) and take the elevator up to the 10th floor. We find where we're supposed to be and chill in the "green room" (which was more of an area than a room) and relax. The "real" musicians from the pit for Legally Blonde trickle in and hang out. They were incredibly laid back and just fun. We had a great time just hanging out. So we wait and wait and wait. Finally the strings are called in and we troop in and set up. We run through the piece once and record twice. That's it. We're done. So we troop out and head down. We invite this one cellist Jessie to have lunch with us. We head over to the Burger Joint - a secret little burger place in the fancy-schmancy Parker Meridien (yes, the same company shown on Bravo's The Parker). It's a little dive of a place where you have to fight for a seat and know exactly what you want before you get to the front of a line. Not that there's much to choose from - there's burgers and fries and that's it. You can get a beer with your burger though. Or a milkshake or a brownie. But it was delicious. And the fries were up there with crisp, fresh McDonald's fries. But the best part was just shooting the breeze with Jessie - who plays with.....JayZ and Kanye West. How freakin' cool is that?? It was just so much fun to talk to her and hear about the "real" music world.

After lunch we say our goodbyes to Jessie and head over to peruse the sheet music haven that is Patelson's, which we've all ordered music from. A disappointing cello selection though - not many albums of favorites where I could pull from for lessons. So I just parked my preggo butt and looked through other stuff. Steph and Jill make out well though, finding a slew of violin stuff. So we head off from there, a little weary and stop at Fluffy's Cafe for some water and brownies. Mmmm...chocolate. It was a cute little place that had tons of goodies in the case. I could have stared for hours.

So after that we head over to Manny's Music - a NY landmark where Jill and Steph grab tuner/metronomes and I drool over effects pedals and amps. Then we meet up again with Matt who brings us to a Portuguese tapas restaurant: Tintol. Mmmm...how I've never had tapas before is beyond me. We ordered about 5 or 6 dishes: chorizo, blood sausage, lamb ke-bob, lamb meatballs, lamb loin and some grilled mushrooms. The chorizo they brought to the table, doused in alcohol and flambed right in front of us. The blood sausage - as scary as it sounds tasted like a curry-infused meatloaf - tender and spicy with a moist texture to it. The lamb loin was like eating a tiny bit of a tender chop. The lamb meatball was tasty and the lamb ke-bob was good too. The mushrooms gave a needed break from the carniverous activity. So we stuffed ourselves, chit chatted and had a nice meal. Then home again, tired but having had such a great day.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Gee Your Legs Look Hairless*
I bought this contraption years ago, tried using it and decided it didn't really work. Thankfully I never threw it out. It's amazing. Just like the Pocket Fisherman. It took some getting used to and figuring out, but I never shave my legs anymore and I never get stubble. It's just the coolest grooming product I've ever known. And I've tried Nair. I've tried waxing. I've tried shaving with a variety of gels, creams, lotions and razors. Never again.
So what are you waiting for? Go buy one now!
*Ten points if anyone can tell me where this is from.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Ode to My Cowboy

My sweetie made sure I loved my birthday this year. We had a fabulous meal out and I received 3 new cds I had been lusting over! He also made sure the apartment was clean and tidy. He's the best. This is my favorite picture of him - I was playing with my new digital camera at the laundromat - we were staying cool last summer. I can even tell you that he was wearing his Bob Ross tee-shirt that day. But in a nutshell, that's the smile I live for, the one that tells me he's happy and content. It's the same smile I got when I got off the plane at O'Hare over 10 years ago to bravely meet this fella I had met on the internet and decided to go meet in person.
Reasons I Love Him So:
a.) He's a romantic. 'Nuff said.
b.) Children and animals follow him like he's the Pied Piper. Who'd have better judgement?
c.) He knows just about everything there is about The Simpsons, baseball, and the writings of J.D. Sallinger.
d.) He cleaned and flushed my chemo-catheter every day when I was sick.
e.) He lets me watch my wacky t.v. shows even if there's a good baseball game on.
And the most recent:
We were at my parents' house to celebrate my birthday and eat up my delicious nephew. He, my dad and brother-in-law were looking at an old (1942) atlas trying to find where Ahmed (the b.i.l) will be going if he has to go to India on business. So there's my dad, my husband and my sister's husband all gathered around this ancient book sharing together. I just took it all in and loved watching them.
I'm a lucky gal.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Look at Me, I'm Gorgeous!*
I re-discovered a hair care item I had originally banished to the product graveyard. Greg Juice. Now, before you go, ewwwwwww, that sounds nasty - it's doing some amazing things to my hair. I'm using it as a leave-in condish instead of a refresher and POOF - magically soft and healthy curls. It's amazing. I can't stop looking at my boingy curls. And now the company has a version of this that smells like fruit. AND it's on sale. What's a curly girlie to do? And can I say that I'm loving that's it natural stuff. I'm tired of dousing myself in chemicals all the time.

*Taken from a song from the musical "The Apple Tree" - I'm not really that vain, just excited about good hair, especially in the summer. I should have re-worded it to say "Look at me, I'm enormous," since my tummy has recently popped.

A French, Delicious, Donald Fagen Birthday

My birthday came early this year. Two days early in the interest of being able to celebrate on the weekend. I was lavished with gifts this afternoon: Donald Fagen's "Kamakiriad" and "The Nightfly" and Steely Dan's "Two Against Nature." I'm swooning. I love it. I love how Nightfly sounds so throwback-ish - he's channeling the soft jazzy loungish sounds he grew up with in his childhood. I love how Kamakarind is this little journey. And I love how Two Against is just Steely Dan. But the best part of my gift was the card from Tommy, it always is.

Then we got all gussied up and set off for Bistro St. Germain, a French restaurant I've wanted to try since passing it while running an errand before a dinner dance 2 years ago. We drive aaallllll the way there and *POOF* it's gone! Signs removed, dusty interior. I was aghast. I had gone to the OB's office a WEEK ago which is on the same block and viewed people enjoying lunch there! So we thought quickly, and made a hasty phone call to Gabrielle's in Rockville Centre and snagged 6:15 reservations. We were told we'd be seated at the bar. (Which made me a little apprehensive but worked out nicely.) We make it to RVC (which really, is just a cute town, so I was glad we were there) were able to park and find the restaurant. It's decorated beautifully and we have a lovely, very private booth in the bar area, which is dead since it's only 6:00. It was comfortable, and when I went to the ladies' room, I noticed it was much nicer than the tables in the dining section. So we scored. It's a restaurant with a prix-fixe menu; appetizer, entree and dessert for $25. A steal, if you ask me. They had specials for which you could tack on an extra $10, or $3 for a special dessert.

I started with a delicious crabcake. It wasn't a lump crab cake, but one where the crab and stuffing were completely blended so that the cake was this moist co-mingling that was pan-grilled, so it was ensconced in a slightly crisp outside. And the "tartar" sauce it came with was very herby - more like a dressing. I was in heaven. I actually exclaimed gleefully, "This looks like something they'd make on Top Chef!" Then, for my entree, I had hangar steak grilled which was served over creamed spinach and grilled gnocchi in a bourdelaise (?) sauce - a red wine sauce. Which was savory, but not heavy. I still tasted the garlic in the spinach. The steak was buttery, it almost melted in my mouth. And the gnocchi - it soaked up the wine sauce, but still kept it's potato-ey taste. And good creamed spinach is just a naughty pleasure. I had to have 2 pieces of my steak and some of my sides wrapped up to take home for fear that I wouldn't have room for dessert. I upgraded. (Hey, it's my birthday!) A small chocolate lava cake was presented to me. It was delicious. A crisp, but not hard outside hiding the treasure of gooey chocolate on the inside. Even Tommy, who's so not a chocolate guy took a taste and got wide-eyed. You know it's good when it's rich but not off-putting. It was a perfect meal. The service was great, the restaurant is beautiful and it's a great value if you want something a wee bit more special - exactly what a birthday dinner should be.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

L-O-S-E-R

I have seen the biggest loser in the world. Seriously. He was driving in my vicinity on the Northern State Parkway. I saw his Jeep from the back first. It contained:

A Mets Sticker - I happen to like the Mets and this wasn't bothering me.
A decal of Calvin urinating on a Yankees logo. - I HATE these things. They're so repulsive and classless. It's no wonder that Europeans laugh at us. I just wince when I see these things. It makes me wonder just what kind of person feels that that's an appropriate way to show their displeasure for something.
A license plate border that states, "Patience My Ass, This is New York." - Okay, see, this is why everyone else thinks New Yorkers are a$$holes. I hate seeing stuff like this. It's just self-perpetuating crap that gives loser New Yorkers like this the mindset that they can be rude, pushy morons since they are New Yorkers.

So, I pass by and peek in expecting to see some burly Joey Bag of Donuts kind of guy. Nope. A whiny looking, balding weenie type looking guy. I'd have kicked his ass if I saw him in a parking lot. Loser.

This In a Nutshell Is Why I Don't Get Running

Maybe some of you bloggers out there who do run can help me understand. Because I don't get it. I hated running the dreaded mile in school when we'd do the Presidential Fitness Test. I still don't like running. It hurts my boobs. It's boring. It's the reason why I love step classes and hip hop aerobics. Every time I pass someone running, they look miserable, they certainly don't look like they're having any fun. I just don't get it.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Mmmmm....Special Sauce

My pregnancy cravings haven't been that outrageous or that demanding. I've really had a taste for bacon, but I've always had a penchant for bacon. I'm still devouring and loving chocolate. Which is reassuring - I was worried when Annie told me that her chocolate affection went out the window when she was pregnant.

But of late, I've been dying for hamburgers with special sauce and onions. Which everyone else knows as Big Macs. However, Big Macs to me have always been hard to manage. They fall apart on me if I don't eat them at light speed which is no fun. So a while back I discovered "Mac Jrs." They're Big Macs in a one-layer size. Perfect for goobers like me who apparently can't handle two-layer sandwiches. Now, they're really not on the menu (you can't even find them on the website), but at McDonalds not run by complete idiots (you want a what?) they'll wrangle one up for you. Mmmmm......special sauce and onions.

Busy Weekend

Just when you think you can kick back and relax......

Friday - I went from work to the hospital to check on a relative there. Was there for a few hours. Then ran to my lesson to teach my two girls. Then filled the car with gas. Then checked out dressers at 3 different places along the way home. (Note to self, Target's furniture is circumspect, no matter how cheap it is) Then met mom at home, whereupon we dashed to Friday's and had a lovely dinner. (As much as I'm not crazy about chain restaurants, Friday's has more than decent food with decent service.)

Saturday - Lazed around till 1:00 p.m. Went to get my eyebrows and lip waxed, went to check out more dressers (I went to this one store thinking I'd find a bargain, I found $1200 dressers!) then went to my hair appointment. Got a great haircut. LOVE this guy that does my hair. He hums while he cuts and my hair always looks amazing. I don't think I've ever loved my hair as much as I do now. And he's always interested in what I use in it and what I do. AND, as soon as I walked in, this other stylist raved about it. I felt wildly glamorous. Especially after having my lip hair removed and my eyebrows cleaned up. Then off to Diane's where we hung out, henna-ed our hair. What a process. Mixing it, glopping it in our hair and then rinsing it out. How
painstaking. AND to no avail. My grays are still gray and the color looks exactly the same. Diane's hair looked great though. So now after 2 henna attempts I am hereby officially giving up on henna. But at least we watched a good movie - The Number 23. I was surprised at how good it was. My kind of movie, incredibly well-shot, interesting story, great acting and an interesting ending. I really really liked it. Say what you will about Jim Carey. He was great in "Man on the Moon", he was great in "The Truman Show", and he was great in this movie.


Sunday - Lazy girl. Went to Trader Joe's and stocked up on essentials (mmm....avocados), got stuff to do my hair and came home and did my hair, relaxed and made "baked oatmeal" which I now bring for breakfast. It's delicious. Then I watched tv for HOURS. Seriously. I vegged (which I never never do). I wasted time by watching "Waterworld" from beginning to end. As bad a movie as it was, I still think Kevin Costner's a decent actor. Then delighted in Tommy coming home from a weekend baseball trip. I missed him.

So I did relax. Relaxing is good once in a while.

Monday, August 06, 2007

***Caution - Healthy Baby Under Construction***

We had our big sonogram on Friday. I had turned down all genetic testing (too many false positives for my liking) and so I was a little nervous. But everything looks PERFECT! Baby Jordan is growing the way they should and exhibited a few personality traits even (in the interest of avoiding confusion I will refer to the baby as "her" since I think it's a girl, but we didn't find out):

She kept her tiny hands in front of her face the whole time, as if to say "This isn't my awake time, please come back later." Refused to move them, so the 3-D pictures show a teeny hand by the face at all times.

She's a very "mellow baby" as noted by the doctor.

She's got an incredibly sweet face, which includes most of her daddy's features, but most likely my nose. (Poor kid.)

She's smart. She's stretched out over the width of my body, with her head by my right hip and feet by my left, hence why I still look tiny. She's using all the space she has. (If that doesn't say girl, I don't know what does!)

She's perfectly healthy. (I know that's not a personality trait, but I can't stop saying it.)

Last night Tommy and I agreed, that we've been patient and not anxious, but after getting such a glimpse of the baby, we can't wait to see and hold her. We got a fix last night when we saw nephew Ismaeel at a SURPRISE SHOWER (impromptu since Merry Berry is here visiting) and held him. He settled in watching baseball with his uncle and promptly fell asleep. Tommy didn't acquire the nickname "Uncle Sandman" for nothing. We recieved many a lovely gift, adorable little sleepers - some of which are baseball themed. I think Tommy's favorite gifts were from my sister Annie (Ismaeel's mommy) - two storybooks about baseball and little teeny Converse that look like baseballs- white with red stitching. I kid you not, if there was gift giving as an Olympic event, my sister would have the gold wrapped up - she always buys the most perfect gift.

Baby Jordan is adding their $.02 as I type this so consider that a greeting!