Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Best for last

I took a break from the albums project due to forgetfulness more than anything. Although the week before father's day, when I stayed up until 3am one weeknight creating a scrapbook to give to my dad, I plowed through plenty of albums. I am totally over Chris Isaak, I'll tell you that much. I know this will sound blasphemous to some, but I'm saying it anyway. I used to love him so, so, so much. And now, just not so much. Now he sounds whiny to me. It kind of makes me sad to have come to this realization because I remember how much I used to savor him. And it also makes me sad because I shelled out so much dough on his albums. Oh well. More room on my iPod for new stuff.

Here are some things that are delicious that I did not previously eat:

- 3 blueberries speared on a fork and swept through a little Cool Whip
- Laughing Cow cheese spread on Wasa crackers (okay, calling that delicious is going a little far, but it's not as bad as I would have thought, by any means)
- carrot sticks. Yes, I had eaten carrot sticks before, but not very often and I kept forgetting how good they are. I need to specify that baby carrots are gross. I'm talking about big carrots cut into smaller pieces or even just one big carrot, gnawed on, bunny-style. (That sounds dirty.)
- turkey pastrami

This is by no means the least important thing I have to tell you. I don't know why I saved it for last. This morning we discovered cat pee coming through our ceiling from the condo above us. How fun is that? Not very fun at all! Booie was howling and she tracked it around before we realized what was going on. Then we thought she had made the puddle we saw on the floor. And then Jeff spotted yellow droplets way up by the ceiling on the heating pipes. I am just thankful that a) Booie didn't do it and b) that Booie does not have another UTI and c) if repairs need to be made, we will not be responsible for paying for them. Otherwise, I am enjoying telling people about this and seeing their reaction. And I'm not going to worry at this time about what our apartment may smell like come winter if it is not properly cleaned up. There is very likely cat pee inside our walls.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I just remembered that I have to be on a conference call at 9:30 tomorrow morning and I usually roll in at 9:45. I was planning to run before work, but that will mean getting up extra early and it's already midnight. Crap. What to do. Even if I go to bed right now, I will only get 6 hours of sleep.

Jen came over after work tonight. She finally saw our place. She said she's realizing Jersey City has its charms. I'm glad she's finally noticing. That's what happens when you work in the financial district. You don't see the charm.

On Monday a coworker asked me what I had done over the weekend. I said we'd gotten brunch. He said, "Really? In Jersey City?"

I said, "yes, why?"

He said, "Don't take this the wrong way, but I didn't realize there were places to get brunch in Jersey City." I did, in fact, take it the wrong way. What a jerky thing to say. I said, "at least my town is diverse, unlike the upper west side." He said there is a project near him, but that's not the same. My whole town is mixed.

Anyway, Jen and I picked up pho from Nha Trang (the authentic place, not the fancy one). While we waited for our food, we went into the Thai/Vietnamese grocery store next door and picked up things we don't need, such as a can of mock duck and a can of mock popk. This has to be mock pork, but who knows? It was only $1.40. It was spelled that way in two places on the can.

We tried one of the drinks on my Mr. Boston list: the Amaretto Rose. The recipe called for 1.5 oz of Amaretto, 1/2 oz. of Rose's lime and ice and seltzer to the top of a Collins glass. We determined that much less seltzer and way more Amaretto make a much better drink.

Status of the albums project:
All of this and nothing (The Psychadelic Furs)
All that you can't leave behind (U2)
Alligator (The National)
Always got tonight (Chris Isaak)
Armchair Apocrypha (Andrew Bird)
B-sides 1980-1990 (U2)

I'm already feeling like I've had enough U2 for a while.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

How long will this take?

I'm taking a cue from my friend Step and listening to all of my albums in alphabetical order. I have 11.7 days of songs. How long will this take? Whose albums will I have the hardest time getting through?

First up was Accelerate by R.E.M. Oddly, Jeff just burned that one for me today. Now I'm onto Achtung Baby (U2, obviously).

I have the headphones plugged into my laptop because for some annoying reason, the volume doesn't go very high on here. My computer plays a loud tone if I accidentally hit two keys at once. And let me tell you, that tone in my ears is very alarming indeed. (I have tried and tried to turn off this tone but to no avail.)


Corie and her Polaroid and the kids who joined the BBQYesterday we went to two BBQs. It was in the mid-90s, but we rallied. We drove to Red Hook, Brooklyn, for the first one and we got there in 20 mins. I am not going to question the lack of traffic in the tunnels (Holland and Battery). But I will thank the gods for it.

A guy from my year of college was there. He walked right up to me and said something like, "Hi! How are you!" I don't know if he recognized me right away or had been prompted to expect me there or thought I was someone else. I definitely recognized him and when I heard the hosts saying his name before he arrived it sounded familiar, but it didn't click. It had been 11 years after all. The first time he and I met was also at a BBQ, the summer before freshman year started, for people from the DC area.

The photos pretty much sum up the fun time we had.

The 2nd BBQ was in suburban NJ at Jenn and Geoff's. We were a little late to that one, or one might say we were right on time, since as soon as we walked in the yard, various grilled items were being served up.

Today we laid low in front of the a/c. Despite the fabulous blowing power of our a/c, it's still quite hot in here. That does not stop Booie from lying lengthwise right next to my leg, however.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

I want tasty drinks

I spent an hour this morning going through Mr. Boston. I made a list of every drink that can be made using ingredients we already have (not including fresh lemons and limes, which can be purchased for cheap at any time).

Sadly, we have no Bourbon, so I can't make mint juleps. But I might need to break down and buy some, since I have the appropriate pewter glassware and everything and have never once put them to use.

I hate gin and whiskey and drinks with egg sound gross, although I'm sure I've had them and enjoyed them (fizzes), but I still don't want to be bothered to whip or separate any eggs at cocktail time, so those are all out.

I'm now confused by Kirshwasser vs. cherry-flavored Brandy. My little bottle of Kirshwasser says it is cherry-flavored Brandy, but different recipes in the book call for one or the other and one even calls for both. I think I will ignore this information and pretend like they are the same thing.

I'm also confused by a note in the back of the book saying Cointreau - a triple sec (see below) and it's at the bottom of the page. The next page doesn't mention triple sec and I don't see a separate section on it later in the book. What's the deal here?? My bottle of Cointrea doesn't say it's triple sec and my bottle of (cheap) triple sec doesn't say anything about being imitation Cointreau. They do smell similar, but it was too early in the day when I examined them to do an actual taste test.

I didn't see a single recipe for a drink calling for Grand Marnier. What's that all about? I keep it on hand for rum cakes, but it would be nice to enjoy it in a glass once in a while.

Same with the Kirshwasser/cherry-flavored Brandy (purchased for making cheese fondue). But I did find some good recipes calling for it. One is a Cherie: juice of one lime, 1/2 oz. triple sec, 1 oz. light rum, 1/2 oz. cherry-flavored Brandy. Shake with ice and strain into cocktail glass.

We also have numerous bottles of Curacao (one large, several petite). There is a drink called a Marmalade which is just Curacao and tonic.

Others I look forward to trying: Fireman's Sour (lime, sugar, Grenadine, light rum), Polynesian cocktail (vodka, cherry-flavored Brandy, lime), and a Hot Buttered Rum, which I've never had. That will have to wait a few months though.

No recipes called for either strawberry or watermelon vodka. I have got to get rid of those two bottles some day. Much of what Jeff brings home from work in the way of alcohol is plenty useful and delicious, but those two not so much. And I'm not going to drink them just to drink them. I want tasty drinks.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Thank you, universe

I sent the universe a jumbled message about needing help figuring out my so-called career path, and the universe sent me an email from someone I know, offering career coaching services.

I had the second meeting with my coach today. It's only for a half hour, so it flies by. I think I wasted perhaps the first 10 minutes at least telling her about a victory I had at work this week, but it was something I was proud of, so I wanted to share. And she seemed genuinely interested and she said it gave her some insight into how I handle situations. So, perhaps it was not a complete waste.

I had some action steps from our first meeting, which I had worked on, but had not completed to the best of my ability. And now I have two more steps to work on for our meeting next week. She is holding me accountable for things that I should be doing anyway.

But really, some of the things I have decided to work on were things that I wasn't sure are valid goals. Once she assured me they were and suggested I get working on them, the goals seemed much more possible to achieve.

I'm not making any major decisions here. I may not be actually making any changes at all, outwardly that is. But this coaching is a great exercise. I give it my stamp of approval.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Shoulda kept my mouth shut

Second time today that I probably should have kept my mouth shut. Really should have kept it shut this time, though.

We were walking home after dinner and passed a young woman leaning against a car. She seemed very annoyed, banging her umbrella against the car while she leaned on it or pulling the handle of the umbrella in and out.

Shortly after we passed her I realized I'd left my umbrella at the restaurant, so we turned around and went back.

When we passed by the same way again, the young woman was still leaning against the car, banging her umbrella against it. It seemed like the kind of thing someone would do if they were upset, so I opened my big mouth and said, "are you okay?" She mumbled something and I tried to explain that I wanted to make sure she wasn't stranded or something but all that I managed to say was that since we'd walked by twice and she was still there I was worried.

She mumbled something else and looked the other way, so we kept going. Jeff then told me that what he heard her say was, "It's my car. I'm allowed to be here."

Dude! It was dark. I thought she looked young, maybe not even old enough to drive. She could have been stranded and forgotten her phone. She could have lost her car keys and forgotten her phone. Who knows!

I was only offering to help, although really what could I have done? Nothing probably. I shoulda kept my mouth shut and minded my own business.

Littering is still littering

As Jeff and I walked down Newark Ave., we passed a man who was tossing a paper coffee cup into the street. "That's not cool!!" I said to Jeff. Jeff, knowing me a little too well, warned, "okay, don't start anything..."

But I was too enraged. "Hey, that's not the trashcan!" I called out to him, just as he was entering a store.

He looked back in surprise. "Well... uh..." he stammered. "It wasn't my cup! These people! They leave their trash in front of my store!"

I immediately backed down and said, "Sorry! Sorry! I thought it was yours."

If only I'd had 10 more seconds to collect my thoughts, though, because no, he was not at all justified, even if Newark Ave. does seem to be a trash magnet and it must be frustrating having a business there. I should have replied, "As unpleasant as it may be, when I find litter in front of my building, I pick it up and put it in the TRASH, not in the street."

Instead I ranted at poor Jeff the whole rest of our walk. "Hey wait," I said to him. "Why did you tell me not to start anything? Do I embarrass you?" He said that no, he was afraid I might get into a confrontation I didn't want to be in. I do admit that I felt a little more ballsy about yelling at a man with Jeff by my side.

(Business starts with a B and is between Coles and Jersey.)