Monday, December 31, 2007
I spent about half an hour today wandering around the Gramercy area looking for wine coolers. I could not find any and had to settle for some Smirnoff Ices.
Why has it become so hard to find wine coolers? If the 80s are back, shouldn't these classic beverages be in as much supply as leggings and the revived careers of hair metal musicians?
I'm just sayin'.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Over the last few days I have realized that I need a four mile run and a cup of coffee. Not at the same time, though. I need to run for about 40 minutes, do some weights and sit ups, and then on the way home pick up a coffee. Then, and only then, am I calm and centered enough to sit on the edge of my bed and stare at a laptop that is perched in top of a folding card table that I bought from a friend for five dollars several years ago. In all liklihood Peppe is curled on the bed as well. He'll be up soon enough, though, to stand watch in front of the oven. He's convinced there's a mouse behind it. (Shhh! Don't tell Peppe he's de-clawed.)
I was reading the cheesey writer magazines again today (for some reason I seem to have a subscription) and they give all sorts of advice about making a proper space for writing and devoting time at the same time every day to write.
I think that's baloney. No one really has a clean, well-lighted place to write. Most of us are lucky to carve out time -- at any time -- to do it. Because the New Year is approaching, I'm sure that writing classes and books about writing are suddenly going to become very popular, and I wish they wouldn't. I wish people who really want to write, be it books or blogs or even greeting cards, just sit down and do it. Occaisonally you do have to look something up, like how one goes about identfying a body at the morgue or how to play the bass. But all the time that people spend reading about the craft of writing should actually be spent writing.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
That said, you'll be getting more of these updates. Sorry!
The good news is that I'm working and being productive on a project I am proud of. That's all I'll say about that, because writers are allowed to be secretive.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Christmas with the Millards was a lot of fun, and after it was all done I braved the Metro-North back into the city. I took an early-ish train around 8:00 p.m. that, although still standing room only, was not as nutty as I think some of the later trains are. I really need to make more money so I can get myself a proper 5-series for such trips to the country.
There is nothing glam about the Metro-North, and certainly not being stuck in the bar car with all your Christmas goodies. At least it was express.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
I spent most of the day uptown, beginning at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I saw that the Costume Institute had a new exhibit , so I hopped the 6 train up to 80th Street.
As expected, it was packed with tourists at noon, but the families who use strollers as torpedoes to push through crowds weren't as annoying as I thought they would be. I think that I can stomach out-of-towners after all.
The Costume Institute exhibit was my first stop. A bunch of very old dresses were on display, including gowns from Marie Antoinette-era France. There were also some classic pieces, such as one of the first boots Karl Lagerfeld designed for Chanel when he took over in the 1980s. If you like big, sweeping ballgowns, there were plenty of those as well. One of the more amazing pieces was an original CoCo Chanel shift dress from the 1920s. Apparently none were thought to still exist, but of course The Met found one.
Everyone loves Arms And Armour
I also checked out the musical instruments wing, which for some reason has never been open all the other times I have come to the Met. Notably missing from the section was the first Steinway piano ever built, which the museum had for years. Where did it go?
Also: the special exhibit about The Age Of Rembrandt is fascinating. It's basically an ode to assorted Old Dutch Masters and the many millionaires at the turn of the century who collected their works and then gave said works to the museum, including J. Pierpont Morgan and Benjamin Altman. There's even a Vermeer tossed in there, but if you blink you could miss it.
On the way home I stopped for a manicure and got my nails painted Scarlett O'Hara, for all you Essie fans out there. It's basically a sparkly red, and one of my favorites. Around 3:30 I had the novel idea to walk all he way home from East 73rd Street and Second Avenue. By the time I hit 51st, I was tired and decided to hop the subway.
And good thing I did, because at 14th Street there was this awesome band playing original jazz. I've seen these guys before and they're awesome and sell their CDs.
And now I'm home. Peppe is stretched out, catnapping and hogging the bed. All seems right in the world.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Most of my friends are in places right now such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta and Houston. One friend left today for Australia. I mentioned a few days ago that I'm headed out to Greenwich for Christmas day, but for all of next week I will be in New York City.
I spent most of my time this past year in lower Fairfield County, so I really welcome the time to hang out in New York. Sure, I'm here everyday, but everyday involves things like work and meetings and paying bills and looking for the next Big Thing. This next week will be a vacation of sorts, not just from work and friends, but from the grind.
I expect it to be a productive week, and not just because many of my friends/distractions are away. I wrote ten pages today, which for all of you who are writers know, that's a lot. I did five in the early afternoon at Think Cafe in he Village, and then another five when I came home after the gym and some food.
I have a few vague plans and resolutions for the week as well.
1. I will be nice to tourists, even though they ask silly questions, such as where the "green line" subway is andcan't tell east from west.
2. I plan to work out as much as I can, because the gym really is less crowded this time of year. Janunary will be another issue.
3. Writing everyday is di rigeur.
4. I might try to hit up a museum, to test my will against the aforementioned tourists.
moar funny pictures
I was once told by an avid outdoorsman that moose are the angry postal workers of the animal kingdom. I was told that if I was ever in one's line of sight, to run, otherwise I would be a goner.
I didn't realize moose were this big. It makes Bullwinkle (of Rocky & Bullwinkle) look shrimpy.
Friday, December 21, 2007
After about two hours after I got home I started to feel lumpy, and even though I was curled up in my bed with my shaved orange cat and a pile of fashion mags, I decided to go to the gym and see if I could sweat the bugs out of me.
It turns out I was right. Not only did I run for four miles and work on my upper body, but my cough seems to have gone away. I guess sometimes you're a lot stronger than you think you are.
I would like to stop sniffling, though.
That said, here are my parameters: Downtown is better than uptown. Union Square, Gramercy or NoLita would be ideal. I'm looking to spend between $1,000 and $1,200 a month.
I know everyone says this, but I really am not home very often. Between my job, The Junior League, teaching classes, etc, you probably won't see me nesting on the couch that often.
I must mention that I come with an awesome, orange cat named Peppe. He's a Persian but is shaved now and will be shaved again for summer come May. (That means no hair on your couch.) He's extremely friendly and is more of a household ornament than a pet.
If you know of any leads, please holler. Loudly.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
I've known Jill since we were freshmen at Syracuse. I kind of moved myself into her room after I realized that she and her roommate, Cara, had a freezer attached to their mini fridge and I had popsicles that were melting. We've been friends ever since.
First, pre-game shots, as always. I actually sat still long enough to get a proper haircut on Saturday.
Jen, another survivor of Dall Hall, third floor, circa 1996, was there.
Lookin' extra fly.
No party is complete without an eggnog cheesecake.
Jill is the only person I know who was excited about turning 30.
Two old ladies in the corner. Total cougars.
A drunk Santa that I found on Orchard Street
I got lots of feedback about the piece, and most people focused on the money aspect of the post, which was not the point at all. The point was that the little mating dance that has to happen between people in the early stages of meeting and dating often gets lost in New York. I think I spelled that out pretty clearly, but I can't control other people's reading comprehension skills.
In this case, a perfectly good guy lost major points with two friends of mine when he not only took the money they offered for a glass wine at a friendly gathering, but he asked for more since he felt that the check was short. (It wasn't. He just couldn't add.) A nice guy would have waved them off, especially since he was clearly flirting with one of them. (And even tracked her down on Facebook afterwards, natch.)
The comments section of The Huffington Post blog suggests that I have antiquated dating ideals, but I don't think so. If not putting up with the reindeer games that run amok in New York City means I am not a feminist, then fine, to hell with the sisterhood. Last time I checked, feminists valued themselves and insisted on being treated well by the opposite sex in all areas of life. Women forget that when it comes to dating they are the ones in control. Then again, if everyone remembered that, then we would have no fodder for chick lit novels and Sex And The City movies.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
On Friday night I had a very special delivery: a five-year-old orange Persian named Peppe. I found him one random afternoon about two weeks ago on Petfinder.com. That's also the site where I originally found Maestro and Mozart. If you're looking for a pet, it's a great place to look. They even have barnyard animals!
Some fun facts about Peppe:
1. He's originally from Italy and came to this country (with eight dollars in his pocket!) with his original owner. He even has a passport.
2. He's a proper Persian, but the shelter had to give him a lion's cut, in winter, because he got really matted being stuck in the cage.
3. He likes to follow me around the apartment. I think he has some attachment issues.
4. He's the most affectionate creature I have ever met. I recommend one of his love bites on your cheek.
In his carrier when he first arrived. He wasn't too jazzed about getting out.
Peppe isn't so much as a cat as he is just a giant, orange face.
He's already plotting his escape.
Hairless but happy.
Friday, December 14, 2007
It's been a few days since I posted anything, and I can only blame myself. I've been a busy gal cleaning out my apartment. (I'm really going minimalist) and last night was karaoke-ing with my Junior League group.
1. Today I am wearing turquoise jeans, because I think it's 1991.
2. I have not written a single Christmas card yet, which is unfortunate because I have some really awesome ones. I will do that soonest!
Back at Syracuse we loved the song "Sweet Caroline," particularly after several hours of drinking. I found this project on Boston.com that not only examines the inspiration for the song, but you can listen to a bunch of random people sing their own version.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Sunday, December 09, 2007
...because it's better to have no money than to be new money.
Derrick and Kyler's annual Olde Money Holiday Affaire has become one of my favorite events of the year. Sadly, the two most fabulous guys I know are going west to a crazy place called Los Angeles, and so this was the last affaire in New York City.
The full set can be found here.
SantaCon stragglers in the subway en route to Cobble Hill
The Hosts With The Most
Rootbeer, their amazing Corgie. I'm gonna miss that guy.
Hey, come look at the tree.
Naturally, there was also a champagne tree.
Five fly honeys
...and we're pouty...
Best shot of the night:
The pearl necktie needs to come back into style.
Tiny Fey's doppelganger made an appearance.
A party of taste always ends with goody bags. Derrick's grandma knitted those hats for everyone!
Friday, December 07, 2007
Now that I have gotten over the sticker shock of paying over $400 for a phone, I can finally enjoy this electronic treat.
I cut out of an evening at Ulysses' in the financial district last night in order to go home and upload songs to my iPod. I haven't finished putting all my tunes in yet, but once I do, rest assured that I will beginning poaching my friends' collections. Anyone have the first Matchbox 20 CD?
I think that Apple needs to cut the price down a little more, only because even after you get the phone you have to spend so much time talking to AT&T trying to iron out all the kinks with your plan. I spent about an hour and a half on the phone yesterday morning, and I already was an AT&T customer. I set up an iPhone for someone who was switching from Verizon, and I spent two and a half hours on the phone, mostly on hold. It's a ghost in the machine that needs to be ironed out.
And that is the last I will post about my iPhone. This weekend: parties! Photos to come.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
This raises and interesting issue: Do I buy an iPhone today, since I was planning to upgrade after Christmas anyway, or do I wait to see if maybe Santa might bring one?
If you need to call me, please send e-mails instead, at least for the next day or so.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Holiday hangovers are an occupational hazard of being social, but after doing a little research this weekend I've come to realize that what you're drinking is going to have a profound affect on how you feel the next day. The farther on the spectrum your booze is from, say, ether, the better you are going to feel.
As civilized adults, we know that we do not come to a party empty-handed, especially during the holidays. Someone has cleaned their home and invited you in to have your way with it. The least you can do is bring something acceptable to add to the arsenal.
This weekend I spent part of a party with another guy picking through the assorted bottles that had been brought to a party. True, everyone brought one, but the selections of red wine left a lot to be desired. While California wines can be great, you can't just pick one based on the label or because it was less than $10. Remember, the host is going to put out good stuff in the beginning, but sooner or later you're going to have to drink the crap you brought.
That said, put down the Yellow Tail and try, perhaps, a nice Bordeaux. I recommend anything by Chateu D'Arcins or Châteauneuf-du-Pape. If you insist on being trendy, an Argentinian Malbec, circa 2003 maybe, is always a good choice. I have also been known to like an Italian Super Tuscan. If you're really stumped, grab a bottle of chilled Veuve Cliquot and you're golden.
One Does Not Bring to a Party:
Wine that comes in a bottle so large it could be considered a jug.
Beer that comes in bottles larger than 8 ounces. (I'm looking at you, 40 ounce.)
Champagne that is from anywhere other than France.
Champagne that is warm
A Pucker product
For Camp Value, The Following Items Are Always Welcome:
Wine coolers, especially Bartles & James
Pabst Blue Ribbon
...and to all a good night!
Saturday, December 01, 2007
November 30th marked the start of my favorite time of year, the holiday party season. On Friday night my band of merry pranksters and I set off to two parties, where I pretty much saw every person in media that I know.
The full set can be found here.
First, some pre-game shots. I really need to clean out those bookcases.
How much for the bodega cat?
At the package store, because you can't come to a party empty handed.
I don't even know.
One for the road. I kind of look like a berry.
I waited for months to be able to wear these shoes.
Hey look! It's Nichelle!
This photo cracks me up.
Tom is so tall he doesn't fit in the frame.
Who brought the top hat?
To hell with this party. She's going to sleep.