Sunday, August 31, 2008

Picnic In the Park

Rather than dealing with traffic in and out of the city, I decided to take advantage of Labor Day Weekend by staying right here at home. Today was beautiful weather, and I spent the majority outside in Central Park. Todd, his kids, and I met up for a picnic around noon and spent the day frolicking near the Great Hill all afternoon. Todd and Dylan played whiffle ball, Sofia and I drew, we all listened to Todd read a chapter from Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (I love Ramona!), and I wowed everyone with my mad soccer skills.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mom in the city

I just had a great day with my mom! She came into the city for a day of shopping and good food, not to mention the chance to meet Todd and his kids. It was great to have them finally meet, and I loved having an excuse to eat to my heart's content at Carmine's for dinner. Mmm...pasta....

Friday, August 29, 2008

Chicago & Me

I’m being a bit slow responding to people’s topic suggestions, but only because I found with the first two that I’m writing a lot more in these posts than I am otherwise. Consequently, they take a little longer to draft, which means I have to spread them out and sprinkle the blog with youtube videos and political hypothesizing, too.

Anyway, Melissa, herself one of the things I miss most about Chicago, asked what I missed about the Windy City. And, she rightly knew that Pockets would be at the top of the list. Mmmm....Pockets. To call it a calzone is accurate but doesn’t give you a sense of how good it is! And it’s healthier than a regular calzone, too, because it’s baked and the bread is whole wheat, so there’s no guilt. And, the Pocket-people are geniuses for knowing that ranch dressing was a perfect Pocket companion. I know some of you are probably thinking how weird it sounds to put ranch on a calzone (at least that’s what I first thought), but trust me: it’s delicious. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

Ok, my favorite order-in food aside, there is a lot to miss about Chicago. As much as I love New York (a post on that is coming, Dorrie!), I can admit that Chicago has it beat in a couple of ways. First: Chicago apartments kick New York apartments asses! I didn’t have to sell any limbs or unborn children to afford to find a place, either. Unlike New York, where you pay thousands of dollars to a broker for doing, in my experience, next to nothing, I signed a lease on a place without paying a broker a dime. Short side note, in the two and a half years I lived their my rent never went up and I got my entire security deposit back when I left.

And the apartment was great—I really loved it. I had more space and more closets than I’ve ever had in NYC, and the apartment itself charmed me with architectural details like built in bookshelves, a (nonworking) fireplace, and casement windows that gave the place a cool sort of café feel. Camilla loved that the windows had really wide sills so she could really spread out in the sun. I’ve tried to make every apartment I’ve had feel like a home, but my place in Chicago just had so much more to work with. And all for a fraction of NYC prices.

I also love how pretty Chicago is as a city. The lake and skyline together is really beautiful. And there are specific neighborhoods I miss, too, like Lincoln Square. That neighborhood had a great low-key vibe (the “hip” places like Wicker Park were just too hip for me; it’s sort of how I feel about Williamsburg now) and had lots of little mom and pop shops like Mertz Apothecary. On the same note, I loved seeing movies at the old-school Davis Theater instead of at an AMC or Sony theater.

And speaking of theater, I miss seeing shows at The Steppenwolf and Goodman Theaters. I had subscriptions to both while I lived in Chicago and always saw great plays. Most memorable at Steppenwolf were incredible productions of Top Dog/Underdog and Proof. And I saw a fantastic production of The Goat, or Who is Sylvia at the Goodman. Chicago has a reputation for great theater, and it’s well deserved. Living in Chicago, I got to see The Light in the Piazza before it came to Broadway and collected 11 Tony Awards. And I was able to see Bounce, a Sondheim show that didn’t make it to Broadway. And while we’re on the arts/culture topic, I also miss visiting The Art Institute!

Logistically, I have to confess, too, that as someone who is utterly without a sense of direction, I miss how easy it was to figure out where you were going in Chicago. The grid was made for people like me!

And, of course, I miss the people. I never made a huge group of friends there, but that just made the ones I did have all the more meaningful to me.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Another VP announcement coming soon

The New York Times is reporting this morning that McCain will announce his running mate on Friday. I'm not at all surprised by the timing, as he naturally wants to stop the media hoopla that will take place after Obama's Thursday night speech. Even telling the press that he's about to announce is a ploy to get attention for himself and away from how both Bill Clinton and Joe Biden ripped into him during last night's speeches. From the Times:

Republicans close to the campaign said that the top contenders remained the same three men who have been the source of speculation for weeks: former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and, possibly, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut.
No matter what, McCain has a rough road ahead of him. All three of his top contenders come with serious baggage to overcome.

And, though I've said it before I feel compelled to say it again: I hate Joe Lieberman. I mean, I hate Mitt Romney and John McCain, too, but I feel a more personal hatred toward Lieberman. McCain and Romney are wankers with really bad ideas, but Lieberman is a wanker with shit ideas, shit morals, shit loyalty...he's just shit, shit, shit.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance?

Remember that part in Titanic when Kate Winslet is down swigging beer with all the steerage passengers and she does that ballet on point move to impress them all? That wouldn’t have wowed so much if these people had been on board.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Extremely Important Question

Out to dinner tonight with Todd, Ben and Lorraina, I found I stood alone on a very important point: that Oprah Winfrey is fucking annoying.

I can easily acknowledge that she does good in the world. I'm glad she gets people to read (though I am saddened that so many people won't pick up a book without her seal of approval). I'm glad she's able to get people to give their time and energies or whatever it is that she does with her Angel Network. But seriously, she's so self satisfied and such a media whore that she drives me crazy. And why must she yell everything?!

But, as I said, these complaints fell on deaf ears tonight. But I know I can't be the only person who thinks that. So seriously, I want to know, who's with me?

Monday, August 25, 2008


Did everyone watch Michelle Obama's speech tonight? Despite the never ending-ness of this election season, I've managed to be exposed to her as a public speaker very little. I was impressed. I know that some people think her speech was too formulaic, but I thought she did great. She hit the right notes politically and her delivery was great. Tomorrow Hillary; Thursday Barack.

And in other news, I can't wait for Biden to start ripping McCain apart. 

Sunday, August 24, 2008

NYC & Publishing

Laura responded to my invitation to direct my blog with a question about why I moved to New York City and got into publishing after college.

Really, there was never a question to me about moving to New York. For the first part of my childhood my family lived in Rutherford, NJ, a bona fide New York suburb. You could see the skyline from some spots, we were so close. And with the exception of one trip in to see the balloons being inflated for the Thanksgiving Day Parade I don't remember us going into the city at all. So it was always a presence and yet not at all part of our lives.

At this time my family was very good friends with our neighbors across the street. Richard Michael was my sister's age and they became fast friends; I baby sat his younger sister Kara. Their parents, Mickey and Richard, were former wannabe actors, and had hilarious stories about their days as extras on set in the city that all sounded amazing to me. The stories that Mickey told, in particular, made me want to be there; it just sounded like the coolest place on earth.

I still wanted to get there when it came time to apply for colleges, so I applied to NYU. Meanwhile, my friend April, heart set on Cornell for herself, planned a trip to Ithaca, NY, and I went along for the ride. April stayed true to Cornell, but something about Ithaca College felt right to me, and it became the second school I applied to. I got accepted to both and lured into second trips to each, my dad stepping up for the long rides from Vermont (where my family had moved when I was in middle school) both times. I did an overnight stay at NYU with a current student, part of a weekend-long event the university held to get admitted kids to commit. The experience was fine, but I never really clicked with the girl I stayed with and I didn't love any of the other prospective students I met that weekend. When Dad I went back to Ithaca, it just felt right. There was nothing tangibly better about the Ithaca day; if anything, NYU rolled out more of a red carpet. The vibe at Ithaca College felt better, though, and after those trips there wasn't much of a decision to be made. I knew I wanted to go to Ithaca.

I loved it there and quickly found myself more enamored with my writing classes, writing professors, and job as a writing tutor than with anything else I was doing academically. Publishing seemed like an industry that would keep writing front and center and would feed my love for books.

I still felt drawn to know New York, though. By this time my parents had split up and my mom was living back in New Jersey, half an hour outside the city again. I was able to stay with her during the summers and did an internship at Simon & Schuster during one of them. One of the cool things about interning at such a montrously huge company was that they had a really organized internship program including weekly presentations with people in various roles within the company. I learned about children's publishing most, since that was the division I was with, but I also got a tiny taste of publicity, audio books, the art department, and every other part of publishing. It seemed cool enough.

Senior year I toyed with the idea of doing something completely different for a year and was accepted as an English teacher in Japan with the JET Program. I chickened out, though, and preferred the idea of moving to NYC. I didn't have a job lined up when I graduated, so I started that summer unemployed. It felt like I was the last one to find something. You know how you have those friends (to whom you'd never ever admit this) who just don't seem as together as you? Because those people started getting jobs before me I began freaking out even more: "If even Friend X can get a job...!?!" kind of thoughts. Plus I'd agreed to live with two other Ithaca grads (another whole story on it's own!) and we'd already found a place.

When Longman offered me a job as an editorial assistant, it was something of a relief as well as a job that I thought sounded good. It wasn't fiction publishing as I'd originally planned, but it was a job in NYC in publishing. I was naive enough to think it would actually be editorially stimulating. I ended up really liking being connected to education, though (as we all know by now) the textbook industry really wasn't for me no matter how many different hats I tried on there. Maybe fiction publishing would have been a better fit for me, but ultimately I'm glad I'm out of the industry all together. I love books but have realized that I don't need to be part of the publishing process, just like I love sushi but don't want to be a fisherman.

New York I still love, though.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Veep pick is Biden

I was woken up at 3:30 this morning to the chime of my cell phone. Barack and friends had just texted me to announce that Delaware Senator Joseph Biden had been selected to share the ticket with Obama come November. I guess technically Obama's camp stuck to their promise to make everyone who signed up for the text message "the first to know." It's lame to send it in the middle of the night, though, when, presumably, most people are sleeping. But whatever. Our elite status as "the first to know" was always going to last for approximately half a second.

More important is the news itself. I wasn't surprised at all to learn it was Biden, as he'd been the front runner by a wide margin for days already. Unfortunately, I'm not all that excited about him, either. He definitely complements Obama's experience and brings an undeniable history of foreign policy experience. But he also has a history of saying really boneheaded things.

Take Biden's comment about Obama himself:

"I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,"

Or his very racist-sounding 7-11 comment: "You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent."

He needs to learn (and he needs to learn fast) how to stay on message. All that said, I'm very relieved and grateful to have Biden on the ticket rather than Tim Kaine.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Vermont's Finest

During my junior and senior years of high school I worked as an ice cream scooper at the Ben & Jerry's in Waterbury, Vermont. For those of you not in the know, the B & J Waterbury location is much, much more than just a scoop shop: it's the one and original Ben & Jerry's factory, too. While I was scooping my heart out, ice cream was being churned, tours were being given, keepsakes were being sold, and (I swear to god I'm not making this up), one lucky dude spent eight hours a day tasting every batch of ice cream to ensure quality.

Ok, so that guy might have had the best job in the world, but the rest of us fared pretty well, too. During the off seasons the scoop shop was much slower and everyone did a little bit of everything. But come summer, it was mayhem and those of us in the scoop shop had a very specific schedules. Scoopers just there for the summer were relegated to the basics mostly. Basics included scooping, naturally, and some other easy tasks like "flipping." A scooper on flipping duty basically reloaded all the freezers. Squeezing in between the scoopers (there were nine windows, which meant nine scoopers to dodge when on flipping duty), you'd check to see if any of the five gallon cartons of ice cream were getting low. A flipper's best role was being a mini-quality assurance guru; we had to taste each new carton to make sure it was top notch before flipping the bottom of the almost-empty onto the top of the new ice cream. Yum.

Another tasty job, and my personal favorite, was making the waffle cones. Every single waffle cone served at the factory was handmade on a basic waffle iron. In order to shape the waffles into cones, we had to grab them off the iron and immediately start folding and rolling while they were still hot enough to be pliable. Fingers were inevitably burned, but I found something wholly satisfying about the whole process.

And as someone there year round, I got some of the more interesting activities, too, some that have proven useful in life and some that just make for a good story. In the marginally useful category falls cake decorating. Each Ben & Jerry's cake was a layer of ice cream, a layer of brownies, followed by another layer of ice cream. Every cake was frosted with whipped cream that we made ourselves in a big ol' mixer set up next to the waffle cone station. You'd do a thin layer of whipped cream on the cake and throw it back in the freezer for a few minutes while you did something else so the cake never melted at all. Once a few layers of whipped cream were on there it was time to start the real decorations (made, disgustingly, out of crisco, sugar, and food coloring); I learned to make flowers of all varieties including those fancy pants roses that are so fun, leaves and vines, various borders, etc. I never got very good at the writing, sadly, so I tried to stick to the more artistic cakes and away from the all the many "Happy Birthday, Blah!" cakes. I ended up really loving cake decorating. I've never been great at traditional 2D art forms like drawing or painting, and I loved creating something that was beautiful and artistic.

Not so useful or artistically challenging were my hours spent as a flavor coach. Flavor coaches were tasked with standing on a stage in front of the zillions of people standing in line waiting for their ice cream in the summers. Our goals were two fold: we should entertain with jokes, attempts at juggling (or actual juggling if you were more skilled than I), audience interaction, and anything else ridiculous you could cook up. Oh, and you got to do it all while wearing a tie-dyed lab coat and top hat! Our second goal was to answer people's questions while they were standing in line for an hour, thus preparing them to make a quick order once they finally got to the front of the line. In theory, this helped the line move more quickly, though I know from my hours at the windows that people inevitably asked the same questions no matter what the flavor coach was doing. What, they always wanted to know, was the difference between vanilla and vanilla bean? Really, I always wanted to tell them, nothing! There are little specks of brown in the vanilla bean to suggest a beaniness. That's it! And seriously, if you're waiting in line for hours to get a scoop of vanilla, you've probably wasted your vacation. Much of it stays with me. To this day, I can rattle off the ingredients in any flavor we had at the scoop shop in those days. The flavor most often asked about was Wavy Gravy. And look, I can still do it: Wavy Gravy is a carmel-, cashew-, brazil-nut based ice cream with a chocolate hazelnut fudge swirl and roasted almonds. Chubby Hubby? Why, it's a vanilla malt ice cream with chocolate covered, peanut butter filled preztels, rippled with peanut butter and chocolate fudge. Cherry Garcia is a sweet cream based ice cream with dark chocolate chunks and bing cherries.

Ok, I've written a novel, and all I've done is tell you the most basic duties of scoop shop culture. I'll see if I can't put some more specific anecdotes to words for next time. More to come!

PS: Thanks for the prompt to write this, Rena. I got a little nostalgic (and hungry) remembering it all!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Digital Self Portrait

It's was so much fun to create my own avatar on FaceYour Manga, that this week's self portrait is of the digital variety.

Now I want to see what the rest of you come up with. You can already see Jen's here (you'll note that I stole this shamelessly from her!).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Project Runway Down Under

I love Project Runway, but since I don't have cable I'm forced to look to the internet for new episodes. I'm not sure why the powers that be over at Bravo won't just put it on Hulu or their own website, but they won't. Luckily, some kind soul consistently loads new episodes onto youtube.

The other day I was looking around to find the latest ep and discovered instead Project Runway Australia. Todd and I have watched the first two episodes so far. He's not that excited, because he thinks that Aussies have no fashion sense; the designs have just not impressed him. I agree that so far the talent seems underwhelming...but the drama! The drama is somehow even greater than on our own beloved PR. Not-Heidi is a pretty poor stand in, I think, and Not-Tim lacks Tim Gunn's charm. Not-Tim, though, is a total hard ass, which is kind of fun. When time was up, he literally took the needle and thread out of one designer's hands.

It looks like the whole first season is available on youtube, but here's a look at the first runway show to pique your interest:

We've also discovered the UK's version, Project Catwalk, hosted by Kelly Osbourne. We haven't watched any full episodes, yet, though, so I'm not sure how it compares. In the ten minutes we did see, it looks like it's a less faithful adaptation. I'm sure I'll watch more and be able to fill you in soon. :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My Blog in Your Hands

One of my favorite blog benefits is discovering all the bizarre stuff my friends have in their lives and histories that I’d never have guessed. I’ve been loving Dorrie’s list of Weird Things, for instance. Seriously, would I have ever presumed that she had a history as a synchronized swimmer? Never! But I love hearing the story.

I started wondering what weird stuff I’d be willing to reveal about myself. Then I started wondering what people would be most interested in knowing. So now it’s up to you. Post a comment here with a question you’d like me to answer or a topic you think I should address. I promise to write a post in response to every comment.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Tonight Todd and I took in one of the Fringe Festival’s comic plays. For Reasons Unknown’s protagonist lives alone and comes home one day to find a giant poo on his couch. He has no pets; his doors and windows were locked. His best friend has a set of spare keys, as does the super. And the hot neighbor down the hall once had a set to water his plants while he was out of town. Which of these poopers is responsible for this unsavory gift?

Todd summed it up perfectly when he said the show was like a Saturday Night Live sketch that went on too long. The beginning of the show was very funny, the script has some clever moments, and about half of the performances were really good. You never know what you’re going to get at Fringe, so I consider that a pretty successful outcome. It’s not genius, but I laughed out loud more than once.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dog, Cat, Rat

There’s a guy walking around the Upper West Side somewhere right now with a cat perched on his head. Todd and I have seen him twice; he put his cat on a leash, plops him on top of his head, and off they go. People stare, the guy sometimes stops to chat, and that’s that. Little does he know, he has serious competition when it comes to animal stacking.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Bike Shares

When Tina and I were in Paris, one of the best things about our trip was our bike tour. I raved about it then, and I’d still recommend it to anyone going to the city of lights. One of the things we learned about and saw along the way was the city’s bike share program.

I think New York is a long way from instituting something like this, which is too bad. A real city commitment to biking (which would include not only a bike share program but also infrastructure to keep bikers safe and a raised awareness by drivers) would significantly help limit our pollution output, minimize the number of commuters on subways, keep us all a bit healthier.

I’m happy to report, though, that D.C. has introduced its own bike share program. I hope New York’s competitive nature will prompt something to be undertaken soon here, too.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Literary vacations

I recently stumbled upon this list of literary geographical hotspots that sounds great in theory but is a bit of a let down in reality. Sure, lots of novels and literary shenanigans have taken place in these big cities, but it’s not quite what I had in mind. I expected to see off-the-beaten-path places where a whole vacation could be focused on novels or characters.

So, since Reuters has let me down, I’m looking for other ideas. Have the locations of any books struck you with such impact that you’d take a trip to visit? Sadly the first ones I thought of required a portal to an imaginary world (Harry Potter) or a time machine (Tales of the City). Also, despite what I said above, they do take place in big cities; I think they still work because I really want to visit the very specific worlds within these cities.

What else? Maybe a tumultuous and passionate vacation with a lover to the moors from Wuthering Heights?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Self Portrait Thursday: Chucks Edition

I'm loving my new Chucks.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


What’s up with all the mosquitoes in Brooklyn? I have sat at many an outdoor café in Manhattan, spent evenings in Central Park, gone for more than a few walks uptown. Never have I gotten so eaten alive as I did tonight. Todd and I checked out an art opening in Carroll Gardens and then met up with a friend of his for dinner and drinks. I really dug the restaurant (where we sat outside) but was had at least two bug bites before the check came. When we found a bar with outside seating for an after dinner drink it just continued. Are the mosquitoes heartier in Brooklyn? Does Brooklyn blood taste better to them? I think I came home with five or six bites all told. Itchy, itchy.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New Republican Slogan

Monday, August 11, 2008

Olympics 2008

Who else is excited that the Olympics have finally started? I'm jazzed about the same events everyone seems to be: gymnastics (duh) and swimming. I don't care at all about sports at any other time, but something about the Olympics is so different. And, this is the only time I get to hear people other than myself talk about Pieter van den Hoogenband who, it must be said, has the very best name ever in the world.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Onward and Upward

If yesterday was all about Jen visiting after her recent move, today was all about getting ready for another friend to fly the coop. In just a few short weeks, Rena (who, for the record, I thought would stick around the city with me indefinitely) is moving on up, literally. She’s heading north to Massachusetts where she’ll move into an old mill-turned-artist’s-loft, commune with other artists, become more creative, and continue to wow us all with her jewelry.

I’m trying to see my friends’ moves as an opportunity for some fun road trips and weekends out of the city. I also comforted myself with two new pairs of Sundance Moods earrings.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Hooray for visits from out of town friends

Jen came in from the Cape this weekend, and it was such a treat to spend the day with her. She's only been out of the city for a short time, but already it feels like an occasion when she comes back. She, Krysta, and I spent the morning in Central Park hoping for tickets to Hair. I say hoping, because we didn't even come close to getting them. Apparently the last people to score tickets had been in line since 7:30 in the morning--hours before we parked our bums down at the end of the line. Luckily it was the perfect weather for hanging out in the park for a few hours, so even though I was disappointed about the tickets I didn't feel like the morning was wasted.

Krysta was the most Shakespeare in the Park experienced of the three of us and had never not gotten tickets before. After she recovered from the shock of our failure, we ventured forth for food. The rest of the day consisted of lunch, hanging out at my place, and then drinking a bucket of Coronas at Hudson Beach, an outdoor bar in Riverside Park.

When we finally had our fill of the sun, breeze, and beer, we went for sushi and then to a piano bar in midtown that we love. I somehow never go there except with Jen and Krysta, so it felt completely appropriate that we'd end our night there.

All in all, a very good Saturday.

Friday, August 8, 2008

White Tea

A hundred years ago, Rena turned me on to Adagio, an online tea shop. Since then, Adagio has been both a blessing and a curse. They have a lot of teas to choose from and have extraordinary customer service. At the same time, they have all these small little tins of tea for only $2 that I just can’t resist. They’re so inexpensive that every time I go to Adagio I talk myself into trying more. One full drawer of my desk at work is dedicated to tea, and it’s embarrassing! Who needs 4,000 tea varieties available at work at any one time?

My latest impulse tea purchase was the white tea sampler. This is my first foray into the world of white tea, which is made with only the smallest and youngest tea leaves, and it’s true that it does have something of a delicate flavor. I really like it, though, and would recommend it to others who want a break from the same old, same old black tea.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

SPT: Courtesy of the iPhone

In full disclosure, Todd helped me frame this photo, taken in the mirror of Sip, a restaurant around the corner of his place.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Devil in the White City

I loved this book!

Erik Larson has whipped this true story of the Chicago's World Fair and a deathly charming serial killer into a novelistic read. The tale swaps between the drama and politics of designing and building a temporary city meant to dazzle people from around the globe and an under-the-radar killer. The juxtaposition of light and dark, celebration and sin, art and crime is compelling throughout. Larson is a skilled writer and his material wants for nothing. A hearty recommendation.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Reply hazy, try again

As a kid, I had a Magic 8 Ball and I'm not afraid to say I loved it. Several years ago, my sister Veronica, in a pre-Christmas burst of genius, got me another one. Sadly, it didn't make it through a recent move. The plastic near the window cracked and slowly but surely the liquid inside evaporated. I could see more than one answer at a time, and, sadly, it diluted a little of the magic.

With my brandy new iPhone, though, the magic has come back into my life. I downloaded a free, useless, and utterly fun app called, you guessed it: Magic 8 Ball. I shake my phone and, just like in the good old days, I can have all my yes or no questions answered.

Was the iPhone an indulgent but fun purchase? Signs point to yes.
Do I wish I had some chocolate right now? Yes - definitely.

See how much fun?!

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Dark Knight

Todd and I finally got to see The Dark Knight over the weekend. And not only did we see it, but we saw it with the full Imax treatment. Given that the movie has been out for a few weeks already, I was a little surprised that it was still totally sold out. We got there a full 45 minutes early only to find that 3/4 of the ticket holders had gotten there before us!

I know I'm one of the last people to see this, so it's not like I'm breaking ground or anything here, but I have to say it: The movie was great. We all know that I tend to like superhero movies slightly less than everyone else around me, so I went in thinking I'd enjoy this but probably not love it. Instead, I really appreciated how dark it was, the presence of some political topicality, and the great, great performances. I especially loved--like everyone else--Heath Ledger's. His final performances were amazing, and this was a reminder of how sad it is that we'll never get to see what else he might have done.

To end on a happier note, Todd has been amusing me with his Batman voice since about a block outside the theater. It really doesn't even matter what he says: he drops into that gravelly and oh-so-dramatic voice and it cracks me up every time.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Half Pint on the Great White Way

Anyone who loved Little House on the Prairie as much as I did growing up may be interested to know that it's now being turned into a stage musical. Apparently the creative forces behind this are turning to the books more than the Michael Landon/Melissa Gilbert family hour for inspiration, but I remain curious nonetheless.

How much did I love Little House on the Prairie? So much that I dressed as Laura Ingalls for Halloween one year.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

New Toy

I got a hot new toy today. My very own iPhone! Hot damn.

I'll be sending out a mass email with the new number soon (likely tomorrow), so keep an eye out for it. If you don't see the message but want to keep in touch, please be sure to email me. My current 773 number will work for a few more days, but after that the final tie to my Chicago days will be cut.

Friday, August 1, 2008


I just had the best day. After some 11th hour decision-making, Drew and I both decided that a four day work week was quite enough, thank you. I took the train out to LI this morning and spent the day 1) sipping champagne by the pool, 2) getting treated at the Drew Patrick Spa, and 3) sipping more cocktails in the pool. Life is good at Seven Oaks.

And I know I've said it before, but it bears repeating: Drew Patrick Spa is so worth the trip out on the train. I had a deep tissue massage first, followed by a facial, and both treatments were heavenly.

The only thing that topped the star treatment was getting to spend hours catching up with Drew.