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 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 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. 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.