Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Undersea dining


Dinner at Market Cafe tonight. I mixed things up and started with the beet and bean salad, then had the salt cod cake appetizer for my entree. So good.

We sat in the front window, and were bathed in the blue and green lights from outside under the awning. It was like we were underwater, but made the food look weird. Not that it looks stunning in the rest of the restaurant, because it's just always dark in there, but by candlelight alone, the food looks romantic.

Of course, the upside is, we didn't order dessert.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Grand Theft Marriage

While I have no objection to the fact that John is spending the evening marauding in "Middle Park," I do feel a bit concerned that Jim's character has boobs.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Boys in sparkly sweaters

IMG_2290, originally uploaded by self-titledmag.

I went purseless to see The Verve last night, so this photo is swiped from another flickr user who must have been in the general admission section with me and John and Ryan and Amy. What's truly delicious about this photo is that you can just barely see the sequins glittering to the right of the guitar strap.

Boys should wear sparkly sweaters more often.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Serious reading, seriously

I picked up two ONE WEEK ONLY NO RENEWALS books at the library last week, so I've been plowing through them.


I started with the one I knew would be the heartbreaker, the true story, The Zookeeper's Wife. I think, if you read and enjoyed A Natural History of the Senses, this may not be the Diane Ackerman you are expecting. But it's good. Awful. Unimaginable. Amazing. A miracle of a story. I think, in her attempt at setting the larger scene accurately, something of the detail is lost. But then, maybe those details are lost to history as well? I am moved to read more about this story and its characters, but maybe after a couple months.

I saved the easier book for today's raininess, and you could barely tear me away, though it made me sad in its own way. People of the Book is very deliberately structured, but the read is lively and fun enough to forgive the hint of contrivance. The paper conservation details made me a little wistful, but it's never too late, I keep reminding myself. I think I will technically be finishing this book tomorrow, but I won't be sleeping till I'm done.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Very cherry

We went to the Whitney Biennial this afternoon, but photography was not permitted, so here's a picture of us enjoying the sakura blossoms in Central Park.


Friday, April 25, 2008

Peeing myself

A few years ago, Moises Alou stated in an interview that he had soaked his hands in urine to toughen them up and help him deal with otherwise incurable blisters. There was a bit of a brouhaha, and at the time the whole thing smelled a little racist to me, but in the intervening years, I have often wondered if this might not be the natural solution to my chewed-raw toes, mangled heels and bloodied soles.

I mention this, because it's that time of year again, when shoes start to seem like a cruel joke and I grow so depressed at my inability to FIND A GODDAMN PAIR OF SHOES that I actually start considering walking on my hands or, well, peeing myself.

So, that would be peeing myself in a bad way. But peeing myself in a good way?


It was already mid-evening when I passed this well-hidden sign. I will definitely be checking this out next week. New York is absolutely full of this stuff, and I never seem to find out about it until it's over, but this time I win!

And in the same cut-paper vein, I passed Bergdorf's mini windows on 57th as part of the same, fruitless shoe-searching cross-town walk.


Not bad for a cosmetics advert.


So how do I get that job?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

My true calling: found

I don't hide the fact that I enjoy the occasional repetitive task. In a bad week, I might sort our change jar three or four times, waiting for that last nickel to make a roll.

So imagine my glee when I got assigned to sort lead spacing today at my work/study gig! It's like sorting change, only better, because instead of four varieties, plus the occasional dollar coin or peso or loonie, there are endless possibilities! I also got to bliss out on some mailing and file-folder labelling. Aaaaaah...

John met me down at Shake Shack after. We waited for an hour. And I forgot to take a picture of our food, because I was still riding the lead dragon.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Gemma frites


I put away some rolled-up paper from my class last week, and came back into the living room to find Gemma cuddled in the folded kraft paper packet like kitty pomme frites.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's coming down


(Do you know that song by Cake? I don't get to listen to it anymore, because John doesn't like the band, and I must admit: Fashion Nugget is an awful name for an album.)

Not rain, but the moribund building previously featured in this space. What the picture can't communicate is the awful smell. A smell of destruction, for sure.

So, I finished off my reading from yesterday: Kim Edwards' The Memory Keeper's Daughter. I'll admit it, my interest was piqued by the commercials for the Lifetime movie, and I remembered seeing the book everywhere, with its great cover art. So I ordered it from the library.

Not bad. It did not, at least, leave me in the horrible black mood cloud that often descends when I finish a book. I'm already on to the next, but I think it's fair to say that the true story of a zoo in wartime may bring on the sadness a bit.

Monday, April 21, 2008


I saw Mrs. Boot off to the subway early this afternoon, but rest assured we packed as much New York City fun into the last few hours as possible. Which might be why I then walked back home and collapsed on the sofa. I did get some reading done, and I recovered enough to make some cinnamon popcorn. I even managed to eat half the pan.

Before collapsing on the sofa again.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Off to a good great start

Put on a cute outfit that turned out to be a bit, um, optimistic, and then scurried back inside for a jacket. Should have put on some knee socks, too.

Warmed up considerably in the adorable and cozy Curly's on a stretch of 14th I don't think I've walked down before. Who knew that quinoa-studded whole wheat pancakes could be so light and fluffy?

Emergency jacket-shopping at Forever 21 for Cheryl: a success. Elective summer-shopping for myself: also a success.

Lunch with M. Panique at Tang Pavillion. Magazine browsing at Borders at Columbus Circle.

Yoga-missing nap.

Leftover enchiladas.

Fell asleep with my make-up on.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Arte = Vida

A day filled with photo opportunities, as Mrs. Boot joined us for a brief visit to NYC.

Breakfast at Veselka
Arte = Vida at El Museo del Barrio
Kids splashing old-school in the Harlem Meer, stripped to their underoos
Young couples necking in the Conservatory Gardens
Late afternoon crafting Chez Panique
Vegetarian Indian feast at Madras Mahal

So what do I offer to dazzle your eyes?


An enormous, slightly dusty, wrought-iron screen hanging over the toilet in the ladies room.


Because I left my purse with Mrs. Boot, I actually had to get my camera and go back for pictures. It should come as no surprise that we decided shortly after these photos were taken that we were too tired to meet M. Panique and our lovely friends for drinks.

Friday, April 18, 2008

What will we do for free dessert?

Apparently, we will accept a table at a restaurant that is actually located in its doorway.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

30 Rock, off the hizzook

The premise of tonight's "Subway Hero" episode was not the most inspired in the series' history, but hotdamn! two of the throw-away lines almost made me wet my pants. You can watch the episode online and then guess which lines I'm talking about.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Box-less post

I'm taking a box-making workshop this week, and it's sort of intense to do something all day long when you're used to, well, idleness. Stuff is getting done, but none of my boxes are quite finished and I've been shy about whipping out the camera in class.

But I have no problem whipping it out to snap photos of a passing caravan of Orthodox Jews!


I came to the corner of 27th and Fifth at the tail end of the convoy, but they appeared to be consecutively numbered, in which case there were more than fifty RVs. Wicked!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How tired am I?

So tired that I walked five extra blocks toward home before I remembered I needed enchilada fixings from Whole Foods and had to turn around and go back. This should have been the first clue that I was in no shape to face the post-work, pre-supper crowd. The second clue should have been that there were no baskets left when I got down there. The third clue should have been that the express line stretched all the way back to the sushi counter, and I waited in it through the hot foods and the bakery and past the olive bar before I realized I had more than ten items and could get in the shorter, faster large basket line.

The enchiladas were delicious when we finally ate them at ten o'clock.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Phrenological heads and chicks with dicks


Tonight I took advantage of one of my privileges as a member of the American Folk Art Museum and dragged John to the joint opening reception for Asa Ames: Occupation Sculpturing and Dargerism.

You have to go.

You have to go if you get Darger, if you see the way that literature and music and art have responded to the freak of nature that was Henry Darger and wonder if it's just you, or if America isn't looking a little more like Abbiennia every day?

You have to go if you have no idea who Henry Darger was.

And when you go, you have to go all the way of to the fourth floor and look at the child-sized phrenological head.

And don't worry, you can't miss the chicks with dicks. They're everywhere.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Rosy Future


Saturday, April 12, 2008

World's slowest cleaner

That's me. I tend to get distracted away from the actual cleaning toward the organizing. When I feel like throwing things away, I do the medicine cabinet and linen closet. Today I wiped down all the glass shelves in the bathroom, then threw out all my old nail polish. Guess what I'm doing tomorrow? (Hint: It involves buying something that comes in a bottle with a little brush.)

It's almost midnight, and I'm about to scrub the kitchen floor. If I get this finished before I go to bed, that will leave just the living room for tomorrow. John usually does the rug vacuuming and sofa defuzzing, but I think I'm up for it.

Friday, April 11, 2008

You tell me.

How did this happen?


John woke up early this morning to get a 5:15am car to the airport for an 8:05am flight to Austin. I woke up and sat on the couch while he stuffed his toiletries in his bag, kissed him good-bye at the door, turned the lights out and went back to bed.

I woke at 6:30 to the sound of the fire alarm and the smell of burning plastic. Blind without my contacts, I raced around the apartment looking for likely suspects: the hair dryer, the iron (which was out because I've been sewing), even the electric toothbrush.

I grabbed my glasses and jacket and carefully opened the door to the hallway, but everything looked alright. I stepped back into the living room and there it was, shining from the kitchen, the bright blue glow of a stove burner on full blast. And on top of it, two dinner plates and the radiply deforming plastic splatter guard we use in the microwave.

Oh my god.

I ran in and turned off the burner and with a pair of tongs, grabbed the gooey plate cover and moved it to the sink. The bottom plate was shattered by the heat, the top one covered in melted plastic. A plastic cutting board propped between the wall and the stove had also warped but hadn't yet dripped. I woke just in time, and nothing stuck to the stove. Cleaning up is just a matter of throwing away.

The kitchen was the last place I thought to look because I hadn't cooked in two days. We ate Ethiopian with Ryan on Wednesday night and last night I took burgers to John's office.

How did this happen?

I asked the super to come up, and he said this happens all the time. He assured me that the stove can not turn itself on, and I am inclined to believe him, because the alternative is too terrifying. Even though you have to push and turn the knob simultaneously, it is easy to accidentally light the stove. His own son had done it recently. In the neighboring building, he said a cat had done it.

A cat?

Maybe. Or maybe John with an unwieldy bag? Or maybe me, in my sleepiness? I don't know.

The positives? The splatter guard was getting kind of nasty anyway, and I've always hated that cutting board. I'm deeply grateful to know that the smoke detector functions as something other than an annoyance when cooking steaks. I am thankful to have had the experience of waking in a panic, alone, in a truly dangerous situation, and to have survived it with nothing lost other than a few hours sleep and a few inexpensive plates.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

How's this for "an annoying coincidence"?

(Because John and I agreed it probably doesn't meet the technical definition of "irony".)

I had my first day of work/study at an arts non-profit today. It went great! I had two interesting women my age to have lunch with! I stayed late to finish entering info for labels for an exhibition that opens tomorrow night. I was referred to as "a trooper"!

I picked up burgers and met John at his office. He had twenty minutes of work left to do, so I sewed while I waited and we walked home in the lovely warm night.

I had some leftover fro-yo and a seriously old brownie and checked my email. We'd been home for an hour when John asked, "Are those new messages on the machine? The blinking red light?"

Um, yes.

Message one: Blockbuster, reminding us to return the movies we returned this morning.

Message two: NYC's Ivy League institution, wanting to interview me for a receptionist job in undergrad admissions that I applied for on FEBRUARY 25.

For reals?

Pieces parts


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The re-up


If you don't know what a re-up is, then you need to watch The Wire.

Anyway, I needed a perfume re-up recently, after completely finishing this bottle, purchased at Anthropologie in Seattle when I was out visiting Kate in August 2006. I think this is the first time I ever finished a bottle. I use this almost every day, though I do occasionally alternate with a spritz of With Love by Hillary Duff. You think I'm kidding. I'm not.

Anyway, when Darling Blue started running low, I sniffed around for new product. I flirted with Prada Tendre, Tom Ford Black Orchid, and Chanel Chance. But really, I'm not in that league. So, back to Anthro for a Darling Blue fix. Go smell it for yourself!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Hold on, blossom!

54th and Tenth.

This sidewalk tree erupted in blossoms today, in spite of the cold and wind. Really, how much of are we supposed to endure? Rmph.

54th and Tenth.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Most. Depressing. Movie. Ever.

After a fairly upbeat Saturday, today succumbed to a dreary anxiety funk. I blame it on Friday night's feature: the most. depressing. movie. ever.


This was a real surprise, because as the dvd release approached I'd been seeing the ads on tv and was afraid it would be too scary for me. (I'm attracted to scary movies, but end up watching them through my fingers.) It wasn't, though there was some suspense.

No, what I couldn't handle was the sadness. Because that's how I spend all my days: alone in NYC. With my cats. Who I might have to strangle at any moment if they turn into zombies.

We had planned to pause the movie after an hour to go get ice cream, and when we left the building I asked John if we could just not watch the rest of it. He graciously agreed, and we watched an episode of The Office to cleanse my emotional palette.

But I think the damage was done, and even though yesterday was cool (tacos, successful change-of-season shopping for John, dinner at Mermaid Inn's UWS outpost) I woke up grumpy today. I know it's nervousness about some upcoming events (which should be positive but are making me jittery) but doing six loads of laundry and winging it with some banana-zucchini-sour cream muffins probably wouldn't lift anyone's mood. And mine is permanently lead-lined. Like that vest they put on you at the dentist. (After they ask if you could be pregnant and you say, "I f*cking hope not!")

Saturday, April 05, 2008

One for the road


We had lunch at Tehuitzingo, a tiny bodega a few blocks down Tenth from us. I'd seen it mentioned on chowhound, and I know our friend Ryan went there for groceries before he prepared his gourmet spread on Super Bowl Sunday. I thought we were going to be out of luck -- they were just opening the security gate when we walked up -- but the ladies in the kitchen had already been hard at work for hours. John and I were more than pleased with our beef and chicken (respectively) tacos. I grabbed a chocolate-covered marshmallow lollipop for the road.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Never enough

Window of La Luncheonette-Jean Francois, 18th and Tenth.

Per the recommendation of emily b., I checked out Marc Swanson's show at Bellwether. Pretty sweet. I don't usually connect with video work, but the collaborative piece between Swanson and Neil Gust is the perfect complement to the highly crafted sculptural work in the show. What a treat, and on a dreary Friday afternoon I had the gallery to myself.

I did not have the Forever 21 in Union Square to myself. Argh. Just being in there made me feel retarded dirty retarded. But I found what I was looking for: a top with a similar construction to the dress I'm working on in a size that fits. I was going to take it apart to trace the pieces, but durnit, it's so cute!


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Sewing is hard fun happening

I fell in love with Marmee Craft's lovely dress. I'm so ready for the weather to be frock-worthy. A little interweb sleuthing turned up the pattern.

Marmee's dress is a sprigged cotton, but the pattern is sized for knits with a good deal of stretch. I'm not an experienced seamstress, by which I mean I've never sewn anything to wear, but even I recognized that making a stretch pattern from a non-stretch material would cause some problems.

Well, I've done the bodice, yoke and all, and set one sleeve and it's time to start over. I learned a lot, most importantly that I should have just started with the largest size. A second look at Marmee's construction shots show that she cut her pattern out at the largest size, and she's markedly plus petit que moi.

Looks like I'll be using all three yards of that 90" wide muslin.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Last post-Easter post

Since Big Kitty hasn't gotten around to blogging this project herself, I'm putting it here. Check out these gorgeous eggs!


I think they were Martha-inspired, but you'll have to pester M for the details.

My Easter project was done long ago but just got mailed off to a certain someone in Seattle on Monday. Moi? Late with mailing? Never.


It's a hand-sculpted Peep, about 2/3 the size of the genuine article. Looks pretty luxe, right? Somehow I never managed to get a Peep this season; this year I was all about the Cadbury Mini Eggs.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Sauna season

Jeebus, when we pray for warmer weather, we mean warm sunny weather.

Just clearing that up. Cause the drizzle made the subway kind of gross today.