Friday, February 29, 2008


Cold cold cold.

Cold cold cold.


Cold. Effing. Leap Day.

I went to a mid-day yoga class today. Awesome. Especially being prompted to "Shine out a big Care Bear stare!" Weirdly, it made airplane pose possible for the first time since I restarted my practice.

Tomorrow, I will be looking for this to add to my yoga wardrobe:

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Spring-loaded rabbit

Even though he wasn't in drag, Eddie was amazing. The hilarity was no doubt intensified but the margarita I had at Chipotle before the show. As it turns out, Chipotle's 'ritas 1) are cheap, 2) are strong, and 3) taste like Trudy's Mexican Martini. Who knew?

I don't think I can do justice to the joke about the spring-loaded rabbit, but I am dying to know whether it makes it out of workshop and into the next one-man show.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tempting twinkle

I was heading home from an appointment, but when I looked up Eighth Avenue the sun was glinting off the globe sculpture at the Trump International Hotel and Tower. I took off toward Columbus Circle in hopes a few minutes of direct sunlight and, wild-goose-chase-style, from the steps of the monument I saw this lovely copper twinkle.

This means they are finishing the roofing on the bathrooms for the Heckscher Playground! I don't know why I find this so exciting, except that it means that, eventually, there will be less construction mess in the south end of the park. And a working bathroom. Of course, the playground itself stays off limits to those of us without children. I'm not sure whether this is actually enforced, but as a compulsive rule-follower, I can only stand outside the fence and pine for the swings.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Two large egg drop soups to go, please.

I only went out today for food: many pounds of produce from our greengrocer. Yellow bell peppers were on sale. Strawberries were also cheap. These are things I can't usually bring myself to buy at D'Ag or Whole Foods prices.

I stopped at Mee for two large egg drop soups to go, please. We've heard good things about this neighborhood noodle dive, but have never figured out exactly what to order there, except for this soup -- so delicious. They must use a pork stock to start, because it tastes distinctly of bacon. Which is the way Jeebus intended.

John seems to be getting sick. Can it please hold off for just one more day? We have tickets to see Eddie Izzard tomorrow night and I hope we'll both be in the mood for laughing!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sun tease

It wasn't too cold so I thought I might get a bit of sun today, but by the time I stopped putzing around, and dropped off some shoes on Eighth Avenue, the sun was winking away. I sat on a bench at Columbus Circle while some police cars spun around with their lights flashing.

This happens sometimes in New York, and it doesn't mean anything. This wasn't even the daily security deployment test thing-y. It was just showing off.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Centering my ass

Seated forward bends start with a long spine, and the yogi needs to be firmly grounded before the crown of the head can rise forward and over like the arc of a rainbow. An instructor will often prompt the class to "move the flesh away from the sitz bones." This means grabbing your butt and moving it out of the way, so you don't have so much padding between yourself and the floor. I somehow avoided this advice for my first few classes since restarting my practice, so it was a surprise the first time, last week, when I grabbed my ass and realized just how much of it there is. Of course I had noticed that my practice now, at least fifteen pounds heavier than two years ago, has changed a bit. My center of gravity has moved and my hip creases, which have always defied openness, are encumbered by extra bulk. No judgement, just observation. Like the observation that last night's Center class was an awfully sweaty thing to do late on a Sunday night.

But just a tiny bit of judgment... on the fashion front. After a preemptive margarita at El Centro brunch, John agreed to a trip to Macy's, where I looked for jeans and pants. I eventually tried on one pair of each and thought that the pants were alright for $40. Black. Sort of canvas-y texture with slight stretch. Don't need hemming. But check out this button:

It's not even metal; it's bright metallic plastic!

It must go!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Decrapping, part deux

We decrapped John's office tonight. And by tonight, I mean tonight.

We got up at a decent hour and exercised, then fiddled around. I got ready for yoga and checked my email: Orbitz was nice enough to tell me that a huge stupid change had been made to our itinerary for Maui. So I went off to yoga, fuming. It was a good class, but my toe is still slightly, well, broken. I tried to maintain my yoga calm, walked home mindfully and went straight for the phone.

An hour and half later, things were resolved to my satisfaction. In the meantime, John had to retreat to the bedroom because he can't stand to be in the same room with me when I'm dealing with customer service. Can't say that I blame him.

So it was 4:40pm when we left for John's office, 5:00pm when we got there, 8:00pm when we decided to keep going till it was done, 9:00pm when we walked away from 13 large trash bags, 9:15 when we arrived at Bar Americain just in time for our reservation. And 9:45 when we were finally seated.

No photos of us stuffing ourselves on the outrageous Deep Dish Chocolate Cream Pie. Believe me, you do not want to see that.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Sort of birthday dinner

We didn't make it out for dinner yesterday, even though it was John's birthday. He worked later than he planned, had a work cocktail party to go to, yadda yadda. Tonight there was no getting around it; the paint fumes from the hallway made the thought of eating in the apartment pretty unappealing.

So we tried one place we like, but the wait was an hour and half; so we kept on down Ninth, past the scary Port Authority, to our favorite stand-by, Market Cafe.

It's just always really good. It's dark, but in a good way. The amazing scallop appetizer is hearty enough to be a main dish, and the pasta special is always a good bet. Great wine selection. Huge desserts.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Ninth, between 43rd and 44th.

This isn't the worst possible development, and it will probably do well in the HK, but would it kill Old Navy to put a store closer than 34th Street?

I was walking down Seventh in the 30s (20s?) when I saw this reminder of what's so great about old buildings. Why can't they just put all the bnaks in lovely buildings like this one?

And happy birthday, honey-buns! I bought you shoes, but you haven't tried them on yet, and since you are in bed in your birthday suit, I bet that isn't happening today!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pretty boobies

I don't think I've ever had strong feelings either way about La Lohan, and I'm still not sure how these Marilyn pictures will figure into her career, but she is really very pretty and very normal-sized. Which is to say that when I saw the semi-nude photos in New York Magazine, I didn't hate myself. In fact, my first thought was that my boobs don't look half bad. Bless Bert Stern for shooting her so joyously, compassionately and naturally. Witness: one black and white shot (included in the slideshow) where La Lohan is supine on the floor, running a diamond necklace across her lips. While a nipple is apparent, her right breast has, well, disappeared. Because they do that when you lie down on your back.

Oh, and I don't care what the NYT says. Ginia Bellafante is just wrong; I know from mock necrophilia, and the restaged Last Sitting is not mock necrophilia.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I did NYC a favor and stayed inside today.

Monday, February 18, 2008

To the zoo!

That's where we went, because it was deliciously warm today. Sadly, it was also overcast, and then rainy. But the rain was not slowing down the harbor seals, polar bears, red pandas or snow monkeys!

This picture does not do justice to the little monkey. He just kept hopping back and forth over the "hot tub" area and poking the bigger monkey, who would then get out of the water and chase him all over the monkey enclosure. John and I are usually big fans of the stinky penguins, but they just couldn't compete with these guys today.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


We did some of that today.

No pictures, because we got rid of the crap.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Not the color a toe should be

Pardon the crusty winter cuticle, but I appear to have broken my toe during yoga today. Fricking yoga.

In other news, Molly is fine and the new vet is very nice. Yoga continues to be marvelous despite possible phalangeal breakage. In Bruges is one of the best films John and I have seen in a long time.

Overheard during lunch at Route 66 Cafe: "Well, I'd hate to start giving you a massage and then sneeze on your back."

Friday, February 15, 2008

Three things about today

1) Although she appears to be just fine now, Molly gave me a terrible, terrible health scare a couple hours ago. This is what we get for avoiding the vet for five years. Check-up tomorrow, but no reason to believe it was anything too serious.

2) Favorite tv quote of recent memory: "Betty Sue worked the night shift at a donut shop frequented by railroad workers." How evocative is that?

3) I'm off now to Babbo. Who knew that the combination of a Thursday Valentine's Day and a three-day weekend would yield such fantastic array of reservations on OpenTable? John's coworker even found a spot for us at Per Se, but we decided it was not a $250-per-person kind of night.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Interspecies snorgling

Things are getting freaky Chez Panique.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Urban bonsai

51st Street, between Ninth and Tenth. There was just something very zen about the bending evergreen, the shadows falling over the concrete planter, the flowing water... the oncoming headlights.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Long walk, steady snow

I walked around in flurries for several hours today, and made it home just in time to change and leave for yoga. The snow on the way to the studio was the most beautiful I've seen in New York. It varied in size from sprinkly bits to fluffy chunks, and fell like the lightest swirling confetti. When I left ninety minutes later, it was starting to sleet: it's warming up! Tomorrow, rain all day.

This is where my mind was, though. Well, not exactly. This is a window at ABC. My mind was in Maui. May 31 through June 6: booked and paid for!

Sorry for yesterday's lameness; it was too cold to think, let alone blog.

Monday, February 11, 2008


That's all: haircut.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Spray snow

We came up out of Whole Foods at Columbus Circle to a brief white out. Where did it come from? I suggested we relax with a cup of coffee and wait for it to let up; John was having none of it. So, we walked straight into the snow for a long block and a half.

It was fun! The snow was super fluffy in popcorn-sized puffs, just wet enough to paste itself to our coats. On 59th between Ninth and Tenth the blizzard let up enough for me to snap this photo of snow sticking to the peeling edges of letters on a construction-site sign.

Saturday, February 09, 2008


Safe to say, we did nothing worth recording today. We slept late (oyster induced?) and I made some sub-par waffles around noon. We finished the movie from last night. I moped.

Now we are off to Brooklyn for dinner with a lovely friend!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Killing dinner

It's me doing the shucking here, but John got in on the action a little, too.

As someone who revels in the cleaning of a Dungeness crab, I did expect to enjoy the DIY oyster experience a little more. It just took so long, and I was so worried that I was going to stab myself. Then there was the nagging fear that we were going to die of some oyster-borne disease.

It was nice to eat our fill (two dozen) for less than twenty-five bucks (if you don't count the thirty-five dollars I spent on the knife and glove). And eat our fill we did, as both John and I experienced oyster burps later as we watched (most of) The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Do the Good Day!

We had been in NYC about six months when my co-worker at NYU turned me on to Good Day New York. She was right; it is superior to the national morning shows, which engage in a form of psychological torture that only becomes apparent when you watch entire broadcasts every day for weeks on end. Health scares then exercise demos, calorie-laden recipes then diet tips, then stories about rampant obesity, then stories about epidemics of eating disorders. Then splurgy fashion shows. Then fat girl make-overs.

Good Day New York, on the other hand, is chatty local news. With a dance!

To be honest, though, GDNY dosn't get that much play Chez Panique. One can avoid actual newsy-news entirely with a sports show; in the daily morning election, we vote Mike and Mike. (Greeny is hawt!)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


I made a little bit of P on my WIP.

(Tee-hee. That sounded funny.)

Hurrying home to change for yoga, I looked up at my building and was overwhelmed with nostalgia.

John and I looked at furniture this weekend and have made one decision. I think it is safe to say that fairy lights around the window are not in our interior design future. Sigh.

So, I should elaborate on the yoga. Weekend before last, John was gracious enough to join me for a beginner workshop at SonicYoga, the closest studio to Chez Panique. (I am not a beginner, and I did once have a regular practice, but it had been almost two years since I had a class; John is a beginner, but has tight hamstrings that can seriously benefit form some downward-facing dog.) We had a good time at Yoga 101, and I liked the set-up enough to take advantage of a great four-month unlimited yoga deal.

I visited three classes last week and have not been disappointed. The Allign class I went to tonight rocked again. I forgot how much I like the practice. No, love the practice. How much better would life be if, every time you faced a new challenge, there was someone there to remind you not to take yourself too seriously, to focus on what you are learning through every moment of the experience, and most importantly to breathe?

So, a little P on the WIP; a little more P on the me-in-progress.

Monday, February 04, 2008


I thought the W of this WIP would be, well, IP today. But there was errand running and laundering and sorting out.

So, tomorrow.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Does it get any better than this?

Your friends cook you a four-course gourmet meal and ply you with super-strength margaritas. Then you get to watch the most exciting Super Bowl you can remember. You throw in a few switches back and forth to the Puppy Bowl. Bliss.

Of course, there is that part of the evening where a fight breaks out over whether being tortured in a POW camp entitles you to a pass on using a racial slur to describe your captors.

And there is still the chance that, overwhelmed with grief on behalf of his beloved Tom Brady, John will kill me in my sleep.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

It cuts both ways

Um, ow. I guess Molly got her comeuppance. We watched her closely for a few hours because she was being unusually clingy. She seems okay, and the swelling has gone down quite a bit.

And yes, it is still so dry here that even the cats have dandruff, in spite of us getting 1.63 inches of rain yesterday.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Haunted house

Just thought this building looked spooky with the clouds moving behind it.

This day was too squishy for words.