Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Social

1.  What is your favourite part of Fall?

I'd have to say the smells!  Nutz 4 Nutz carts, dried leaves, fireplaces!  Not to mention cinnamon and pumpkin and apples.  I feel like fall is the most sensual season!

2.  Do you have anything special planned for Fall?

My job is giving ghost tours, so I'm going to be working almost nonstop in October.  I'm going to New York Comic Con on 10/10, and I'm excited beyond words!  I love NYCC!  November should be relaxing.  I just want to enjoy as much of it as possible!

3.  What is Fall like in your area?

Autumn in New York City?  everythig wonderful happens at once.  the tourists go home, the weather dips cooler, and it's like a second chance at summer.  Today I'm going to Coney Island to see a short film festival and then I'm going to enjoy the boardwalk while it's (hopefully) mostly deserted!  I can't wait!

4.  What is your favourite football team to cheer for?

Football?  Don't grok it.  I will stop and watch sports being played in parks!  it's a lot more fun to see amateurs going at it and hurling insults and cheers than professionals.

5.  Do you decorate for Fall?  Show us pics!

I SHOULD decorate for fall!  my room is always kind of "fall" because I have a big candy corn pillow and autumnal pot-holders everywhere (don't ask).  it's not called "hoarding", it's "curating" !!!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

#tbt Everybody's Doin' It

Back when I was in first or second grade, I begged my parents to let me pierce my ears.  All my friends were showing up at school with dainty, sparkly studs, and I wanted to be just as grown-up as they were!  My parents' answer was an emphatic NO.  "You're too young," was the reasoning.  

Until my Aunt Kathie came into town.  Aunt Kathie was my mom's hip, single younger sister whose famous M.O. was spoiling her nieces and nephews.  Aunt Kathie snuck me off to the Piercing Pagoda in the Oakdale Mall and I returned home victorious, pain-free, and sporting tiny purple stones in my ears.  Purple - of course.

Over the years, I stopped wearing earrings because they got tangled in my hair, I would forget to put them in, they would snag, etc etc etc.  Eventually the holes in my lobes "closed up."  I'm okay with that.  But I did miss having a bit of sparkle in my ears...

So last Wednesday, I went down to Pure Body Arts inside of Sacred Tattoo and a lovely woman named Starr gave me this little daith piercing!  It can't get snagged on my hair, it still didn't hurt, and I think it goes to show that I'm not "too old" to have fun.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Crispy Crunchy Jackfruit Chips

Trader Joe's Crispy Crunchy Jackfruit Chips

Tastes Like:  Very thick banana-and-passion-fruit-flavored Fritos.

Great With:  I have to be honest, my boyfriend and I tried dipping these in almost everything in my fridge.  These are totally the loner of the dried fruit aisle: I had a hard time finding complements for them!  Even Greek Yogurt did nothing for it!  Dipping them in apple butter was the least cacophonous combination, and we hypothesize that a very sweet salsa (like a mango-peach salsa) would be great.  Alas, they are a scoop-shaped food that doesn't really taste good with anything scooped in them!

Perfect For:  an attack of the "crunchies" when you just want to chomp on something.  They are very sweet and very thick with only the slightest gummy moist trademark of dried fruit.

Must Know:  These are not labeled with any food warnings but I ate quite a lot and did not have any adverse reaction.  

Costs:  $2.69, pretty lower-end for the dried fruit aisle!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Time Enough For Love

There are some Heinlein books that are speedy, breezy adventures.  Others will take over your life, seep into your soul, refuse to let go, wrong you out like a sponge and then sop you full of brilliance.  Time Enough for Love may be the epitome of such a novel.

Confession:  I think I went about this wrong.  I think you're supposed to read Methuselah's Children to meet Lazarus Long first, then follow him into TEFL.  I did not know this, because I am reticent to google anythig that might reveal spoilers (I had a harrowing spoiler reveal back when Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince came out...unnnh, don't get me started).

Lazarus Long, the oldest living member of not just the human race but also the Howards, a group of people bred (yep) specifically for extraordinarily lengthy lifespans, is near death when he is "rescued" and forcibly "rejuvenated" back to youthful health and to lengthen his lifespan.  As he is healing, he treats his companions to stories from his many centuries of life.  He is attended by two rejuvenation specialists, "Ishtar" and "Galahad" who provide typical Heinlein bawdy comedy relief in their antics and overtures:

And later, his companion is the omnipresent computer Minerva, who marvels and puzzles at the concept of "love" while recording his tales of both witnessing and experiencing love across time and galaxies aplenty:

...some of which will bring you to tears on the train, if you're not careful...

And you know how Heinlein likes to preach.  While giving the reader a chance to recover from his shorter stories-within-a-story, we are treated to Hein- I mean, Lazarus Long's personal musings on life:

and further:

The story winds into a frenzy that will have you squirming and squealing and gasping with delight and horror and fear.  Make time for Time Enough for Love, for the lives of Lazarus Long, and you will find yourself living as many lives as he does through the beauty of Robert Heinlein's out-of-this-world-class storytelling.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Social

1.  Favourite Scent

oh This is WAY too hard to choose!  I have several:  Fresh cut lumber, NY-style pizza by the slice, nag Champa, and hot coffee.  but if I had to pick ONE, it would be the Nutz 4 Nutz carts that start popping up all over town as the weather cools.  HOT SWEET NUTZ!  I'm pretty Nutz about them?  I maintain that I need to have a perfume that smells like Nutz 4 Nutz.

2.  Favourite Food

I think I have to go with peanut butter on this one!  I would eat peanut butter for every meal if it came down to that.  

3.  Favourite Sound

Um, WHAT?  I'll say "laughter" because I think ALL MUSIC EVER is too vague.  I love a deep, unrestrained, crazy laugh.  

4.  Favourite picture currently on your phone

okay, I cheated, and I made a collage.  it was hard to pick NINE favourite photos!

from top left, clockwise:  a note of encouragement from my dad, my little brother and the late great Charlie, me sandwiched between my mom and grandma at Thanksgiving, me and my "older brother," Ashton jumping up on my lap mid-selfie, my grandma and me, Ashton sleeping in the sunshine, me holding Charlie when he was a puppy in 1998, and at center is me about to TRAPEZE!

5.  Best memory of the year so far

I gotta say my birthday, because it was INSANE!  I went up to my boyfriend's family cabin with a WHOLE BUNCH of folks and it was so relaxing and exciting at the same time.  being lazy and social all day, going out on the lake in the boat, then dancing and partying all night!  I think the moment that stands out the most was having a dance off to "Somebody to Love" by Queen that took over the WHOLE PARTY and became this massive epic dance number.  but every minute of the trip was fantastic!

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Kindness of Strangers

As he stepped up to the cash register I stood behind, he hooked the cane he had used to make his way to me slowly over his forearm.  He was strikingly handsome, for a man easily more than double my age.  His face hung from high cheekbones, pure white hair neatly swooped to one side in a deep part.  He placed a hand in his khaki pants-pocket to pull out his money to pay.  

He presented me with a handful of coins.  "Could you take the change, please?"

I studied his palmful of metal, doing quick calculations.  His hand rocked violently as I did so, jingling the coins lightly while I gently picked out the correct about of tender.

"My hand is shaking," he explained gently and without apology, "because of the Parkinson's."

"Oh!" I thought quickly on my feet, then grinned mischievously into his piercing blue eyes.  "I just assumed you were trembling at the thrill of my touch on your hand!"

He laughed, and I returned to my task at hand.  "Or perhaps I'm too old for you..." I lamented loudly.  "That's always the trouble.  This face has had it's day, but I can't bring myself to admit it.  Like Blanche DuBois, 'I can no more abide a naked bulb than I can a cruel remark.' That's a little Tennesee Williams for you."

"I prefer the Greek saying: 'Love Conquers All'.  Love conquers all!" he repeated, as though he truly believed it.  

Can you believe it?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

#tbt Dance, Dance

This photo is from late August 2007 and the real beginning of my adult life and as such, I am in a toy store.  playing DDR.  and falling in love with New York City.  a year later, I would move to the Big Apple - September 8th, 2008, and from then my life would never be the same.  but between the time this photo was taken and that day was the happiest year I can recall.  looking at this picture reminds me of my charmed youth and the good times and that I am truly lucky to dance through life as I do.  

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Apple Carrot Crushers

Trader Joe's Apple Carrot Crushers

Tastes Like:  Pumpkin spice applesauce.  Sweet and slightly savory, with a definite "vegetable healthy yum" undertone!

Great With:  Greek yogurt...or just by itself as a snack alongside some Chai tea or gluten-free ginger snaps!

Perfect For:  A midnight snack, or really, snack on the go.  throw in a locker or purse and eat in the subway, or suck one down while strolling down the street (Look, ma, no hands!"

Must Know:  Gluten free!

Costs:  $2.99 for a box of four, highly competitive with other similar products on the market!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Have Space Suit - Will Travel

Robert A. Heinlein has two modes:

one is for long, drawn out emotional epics that will never leave you filled with characters who feel as close as family.

But never forget that he also writes fast, fun stories like Have Space Suit -Will Travel.

Meet Kip Russel, starry eyed - or should I say, MOONy eyed teenager.  He's an instantly like able protagonist - hardworking, clever, charismatic.  You want to root from him from page three.

This is considered one of Heinlein's YA novels - which basically means there's no sex in it (unlike his other novels, cough cough To Sail Beyond the Sunset) but don't think for a second that Heinlein goes easy on you.  When he takes out the sex, he leaves you with drama, violence, and lengthy science babble:

In summary, Have Space Suit - Will Travel is a quick and fun introduction to Heinlein's writing style with appeal for all ages and a hero you'll cheer for out loud!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday Social

1.  5 Things you want us to know about you

1. I just turned 30 years old!

2.  I am a professional tour guide - I give ghost tours in

3.  I live in Manhattan and yes, it's awesome

4. I love reading - my favourite author is (you'd never guess) Robert A. Heinlein, whose work I just discovered this past spring.

5.  I love ice cream.  like, put it in front of me and it's GONE.  that might be my favourite sweet of all!

2.  5 Favourite things about blogging

1.  I love blogging because I love playing voyeur to all your lovely lives.  it feels like I have dozens of friends I can summon up with Bloglovin' app and ask, "how was your day?" I love getting to know you all!  

2.  I love my fellow NYC bloggers because they show me awesome things to do in town that I (yes even I) did not know about!  several times I have walked in your esteemed footsteps and I love that you help me find new and awesome adventures!

3.  I love (please don't think I'm creepy) I love living vicariously through people with dramatically different lives from mine.  it's so validating to have a community of women whom I all respect and admire, all living their lives on different paths, and all of us sharing triumphs and commiserating over frustrations.  I think it's a powerful thing to celebrate our diversity as women by sharing our stories and I love seeing that celebrated in the blogosphere!

4.  and now back to me:  I love having an opportunity to free-write.  I seldom edit, just let it go.  I like having an outlet to express myself and I love that I have encouraging friends both here and IRL who read my blog and find it (at least sometimes) entertaining!

5.  I love the chance to share my own life alongside all of yours.  I love that I can use my blog to express myself in times of loss or learning and you are all there to encourage me just as (I hope) I can provide encouragement to you.  commenting, FTW!

3.  5 Things you are doing before the year is over

wow.  I don't even know for sure what I'll be doing!  the only thing I know for sure about is 

1.  going to Comic Con.  this year there was a huge - HUGE! - ticket selling snafu.  which means that even though I camped out until they went on sale, I only scored a Friday pass.  which just means that I'll have to make my Friday at con REALLY COUNT.  last year I had the luxury of taking my time, but there's also something to be said for GOING HARD AND FAST AND MAKING IT COUNT.  packing water and power bars and running around the Javits Center in a mad dash!

and here are the things I *want* to do before the year is out:

2.  visit Coney Island on an "off" day so I don't have to wait in line but I'm also not frantic about my ice cream cone melting on my lap on the Wonder Wheel - important things.  I want to ride fast rides, stroll the beach, eat Nathan's cheese fries (better than the hot dogs? you decide) and watch the sun go down while getting tipsy at a beachfront dive bar feeding coins into the jukebox.  

3.  brunch!  I think I've brunches maybe twice before in my life?  I want to have a luxurious and slow brunch at either Sacred Chow for insanely delicious vegan fare (I still can't get over their eggless omelette, oh my Flying Spaghetti Monster, it is better perhaps than the real thing) or French Roast at Broadway and 85th, a 24-hour French (duh) bistro where I celebrated my 29th birthday.  avec champagne, obviously

4.  clean out y apartment and get rid of things!  I have a lot of stuff I need to organize.  not very glamorous, but important!  and

5.  read all the new books on my bookshelf.  this will probably definitely happen.

4.  5 Favourite Fall Fashion Staples

1.  my Doctor Who scarf!  last year I didn't wear it as much because I was afraid of hurting it?  but it's so magnificent that it deserves to be marveled at.  I can't wait for temperatures to plummet so I can strut it around town!

2.  my light black jacket that I bought for $11 at the Salvation Army maybe 7, 8 years ago?  true story: last night I saw a girl on the subway wearing THAT SAME JACKET and it was totally freaky and I stared at her for maybe longer than socially acceptable.

3.  bell bottoms!!  I have collected, thanks to Urban Outfitters at 72nd streets AMAZING sale rack, three pairs of awesome bells on CRAZY SALE and once the mercury dips below 70, I plan to bring back the 70's Freaks and Geeks style with vintage tees, feathered floppy hair and my sexy cool bells!

4.  overalls!  allowing for "warmer" fall temps, rolled-up overalls over a crop or bandeau top are so tomboy-cool.  I was deeply, deeply influenced by Dexy's Midnight Runners' "Come On Eileen" here.  I have a truly vintage, third-hand, pair of light-wash paint-splattered overalls just slightly too big for me and they may look sloppy (sloppy AWESOME) but it feels like wearing pajamas in public.  SO comfortable.  I plan to bring them seriously BACK.

5.  the essential:  a flannel shirt.  I have a couple in my closet but I'm always on the hunt for The Dream:  a slightly-fitted, long-sleeved, medium-weight red plaid shirt.  Doesn't have to be your traditional red-and-black, but it has to be predominantly red in hue.  why is this SO HARD TO FIND?  keep your eyes peeled, I'll be sure to brag-post if I find it...

5.  5 Favourite beauty products

asking me to pick a favourite eye shadow is like asking me to pick a
favourite lung, so I avoided causing my children to fight and chose:

1.  Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle soap because you don't know the feeling of clean until you've washed with this stuff and I'm totally serious.

2.  Reckon LashPotion Grow Luscious is the best mascara of any I've ever tried because you can build it up slowly, it makes your lashes look ENORMOUS and I swear to you, they feel like they've grown longer and thicker (or at least look that way under layers of mascara, bigsexyblackwink)

3.  Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeshadow Primer is the foundation that makes all my crazy eyeshadow experiments STAY PUT FOREVER through miles of walking, unbearable heat, and emotional French movies

4.  Neutrogena sunscreen really does feel light on, leaves no awkward scent, and you forget you have it on until you spend all day walking in the sun and come home and aren't burned up like a gross piece of jerky.  protect your skin, gals, take it from an old biddy like me (who was just last week mistaken for a "high school?" girl.  HA!)

5.  Garner Clean Plus grapefruit and pomegranate scrub is a gentle (compared to St Ives) scrub that isn't too harsh on my dry areas (around the mouth and under my eyes) but does beat my T-zone into submission.  I purchased this after trying a sample in the mail because it a) dramatically improved the quality of my skin and b) smells like the most delicious sherbet I want to eat but, uh, know better, because it's soap.

St Ive's Apricot Scrub and Trader Joe's Tea Tree Oil and TJ's Coconut butter also deserve big props for making me look/feel like a million bucks but sadly, there was no room for them on this list.  

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Coconut Strips

Trader Joe's Coconut Strips

Tastes Like:  Coconut gummy candy, coconut jerky, everything that is good in the world.  they remind me of chewy macaroons.  THEY'RE ADDICTIVE.

Great With:  yogurt at breakfast time, tea at bedtime.  These would make a great "leave in your drawer at work" snack but they won't last long.  they are AMAZING.  or bring them to a picnic, toss them in a purse...

Perfect For:  the slender but sturdy shape makes me think they'd make awesome cocktail garnishes, for some reason.  I could even see chopping them up into diced cubes and throwing them into a trail mix.

Must Know:  Three ingredients, and a warning on the label:  contains coconut.

Costs:  $1.99 for a bag which allegedly contains four servings' worth, but these are so scrumptiously addictive, they will probably be gone in one night.  I ate my first bag before I had a chance to photograph it, so the picture above is of my second bag.  yes, I had to buy it AGAIN just to properly review it for you folks.  the things I do for you guys!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Currently... in September

FEELING:  I'm going to let my feet answer this one: THEY HURT!  Work has been keeping me hopping from one job to the next and I'm soaking my feet and taping the band-aids on but it feels like I'm stepping on shards of glass everywhere I go!

WATCHING:  absolutely nothing at the moment!  As I have mentioned, my computer won't turn on (I'm going to get it looked at) and the TV hasn't been plugged in for months.  I don't miss it one bit!

LISTENING TO:  my usual Pandora suspects but with some Cat Stevens thrown in.  that makes jazz, singer/songwriter, and new wave the top hits of this past month.  

READING:  I just finished To Sail Beyond the Sunset, another (duh) Heinlein novel and it ripped the heart out of me.  I had weird dreams and everything.  The day the plot took a sad turn, I snapped at everyone and everything.  My soul gets too involved with Heinlein, so I've been alternating him with some of the Culture novels by Iain M. Banks - last month I enjoyed The Player of Games and last week I started in on Matter.  they're a bit speedier than Heinlein and I don't have weird dreams (phew!)

WORKING ON:  ay, there's the rub.  I usually knit when I'm watching TV, so now that that's not happening, my knitting progress is at a standstill!  I am working on organizing my wardrobe and storage and cleaning out my closet while fixing/repurposing things I no longer use. it's almost scarf weather!  I had better get back on my knitting horse!!!

THINKING ABOUT:  why I can't seem to sleep.  how well can we really know ourselves? and what I should dress up as for Halloween!

EATING:  raw zucchini pasta and smoothies!  I've been trying out new smoothie places all over town.  the spiral veggie machine makes it so easy to make zucchini spaghetti...maybe I should invest in a blender to make smoothies at home, too?

LOOKING FORWARD TO:  well, Halloween, obviously.  NYCC, even though I'm only going on Friday (boo).  cooler fall weather for scarves and jackets!  and all the flavors that come with fall like caramel apple, pumpkin spice, cider, etc etc!

MAKING ME HAPPY:  live Nirvana and Foo Fighters songs on Pandora, mellocreme pumpkins, long walks, buying rings on amazon (don't judge), reading on the train, and my swishy new hairdo!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Sunday Social

1.  What is one thing you hate doing?

This might actually be more of a phobia, but I hate touching railings.  Or the safety bar in the subway.  I'd rather stand up at sway all over the place than touch that thing!  I'm convinced that any type of rail is just slathered with an unsavory cesspool of human germs and I refuse to touch it!

2.  What is the one thing you hate shopping for?

Oh man, I used to hate shopping for pants.  As a woman, shopping for pants is always such a guessing game:  Does this brand run small?  Large?  Are they cut too low?  Is the hem too short?  What the fuck does this number mean?  Is this "European" sizing? What do the cutesy names they give to their cuts mean?  What the hell is "curvy" anyway?  It usually means grabbing a wide range of sizes and styles and dragging them into the dressing room only to find that the highest and lowest numbers fit the best, while the sizes in the middle don't fit over my calves and are four inches too short.  WHUT.  But then I discovered that Urban Outfitters' high-waisted retro fit bell bottoms fit me PERFECTLY.  They stretch when I move, stay up without belts, and actually touch the floor (something this taller-than-average gal never dreamed she'd find)!  I have three pairs!

So now, I'd say I hate shopping for FRUIT.  if you buy fruit downtown where the quality is better, it's twice as expensive.  if you wait to buy it til you get uptown, the shops are a haphazard mess where they inspect your bags (yup) and it's all moldy and awful.  Buying fruit is the new buying pants.

3.  What is one thing you love doing?

I love grocery shopping!  I love taking my time and looking at everything - especially the weird stuff.  I think it can be a lot of fun, if you let it!

4.  What is one place you love going?

I know so many New Yorkers will echo my sentiment, but I LOVE THE HIGH LINE.  I love getting on it at 30th street near the Javits Center (which reminds me of ComicCon) in the neglected, industrial part of Midtown just below Hell's Kitchen.  I love walking down to Chelsea Market and perusing the shops and food there.  And maybe most of all, I love getting off at Gansevoort Street, taking a chance on the furthest reaches of the West Village, getting hopelessly lost and finding beauty.  So, the High Line, and surrounding areas.  Sorry I can't be more specific.  

5.  What is your favourite thing to do that you do daily?

Reading!  I read like a fish!  Um, that is to say, I read like a fish swims.  Maybe?  Well, I've usually got my book on the train to work, forty-five minutes.  Then before clocking in, like half an hour, then on my lunch hour, and sometimes on a pleasant day in a shady spot in the park AFTER work, and on the train'll rarely see me without a book in my hands and it's usually out on the platform too!  My only problem is that now I need bigger bookshelves to accommodate my new conquests!  I refuse to switch to e-readers...reading off screens makes me dizzy and the smell of old books, the feel of the pages, cracking the don't get these simple sensual pleasures from a Kindle!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

#tbt The Least-Super Model

My mother sent this article to me, clipped from a local magazine.  The year is 2006, and despite a deep-seated self-loathing that the photograph conveys, I have volunteered myself to model for a local photo-feature.  Does this image not make you cringe?  The forced, uncomfortable smile barely peeking through a wall of hair, one arm crossed in front to sheild from view my body, already heaped in clothes a size (or more) too big?  This photograph makes me sad.  I see myself at my most afraid, here: afraid of being unloved, afraid of being criticized, afraid of - as the photo shows - even being looked at.  I'm glad I have these photographs of myself from this time period to remind me that no matter what, it's happiness that is the most important.  Much more important than how you look in a photograph.  And not to worry, because inner beauty DOES show up on film.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Tea Tree Oil

Trader Joe's Tea Tree Oil

Tastes Like:  Not for eating!  This is a beauty product!  I will tell you that it smells minty fresh and feels like tingles.

Great With:  I know it says not to, but I use this occasionally as a toner when I feel like my skin could use it.  I know, I know.

Perfect For:  Hot, sweaty summer days...when you feel all the city dirt and grime built up on your face, and sunscreen and sweat in your pores, a tiny bit of this can make you feel clean and glowy again!

Must Know:  this is very harsh and strong and will dry out your skin, so be VERY careful!

Costs:  $6.49 for a little bottle that goes a long way!

Monday, August 25, 2014


Last week, I spoke about my disappointment with Jurassic Park, and how I felt the movie was better.  In a dramatic turn of events, this week I review the novel Flashforward by Robert J. Sawyer, which was the inspiration for a one-season TV drama on ABC several years ago.  SPOILER ALERT:  THIS BOOK IS BETTER!

The back jacket summarizes the plot better than I possibly could.  And while the TV show attempted to show the multiple impact on numerous characters, the book focuses mainly on the three scientists at the heart of the physics experiment that caused (?) the "flash forward" - or did it?  While Crichton goes overboard with jargon and explanation, Sawyer's style is breezy and action-focused.  He trusts his readers, doesn't over-explain, and moves on.  Even chase sequences are short!  Sawyer cuts right to the core, quickly finding the point, and doesn't labor over it.  The book is only 319 pages long, but it feels like a short story.  Along the way we are confronted with a major philosophical question:  would you want to know your future?  And if you did, and didn't like it, could you change it?  Predestination, fate, predetermination, all of these questions about while mystery, intrigue, and a race against death!  Whew!

There's still time in the summer to read a fantastic, glossy, sexy, action novel.  If you can get your hands on it, Flashforward will suck you in, whirl you around, and spit you out gasping for air.  This book is better - better than the TV show, better than Jurassic Park, better now than later!  Check it out today!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday Social

1. What are you most looking forward to about Fall?

SO MUCH.  Wearing my Tom Baker scarf around, drinking Pumpkin Spice Lattes, the September Issue of Vogue, leaves turning, tourists going home, HALLOWEEN, Comic Con, Coney Island, long walks, picnics, layering my outfits, friends coming to visit, giving lots of ghost tours, cake picnics in the park.  I am so ready.  Bring it on, Fall!

2. What is your favorite sports team?

I make it a policy to root, root, root for the home team, since I have no special allegiances.  But I will admit a soft spot for anyone sporting the Buffalo Bills logo.

3. If you could go back to college is there one thing you would change?

I wouldn't change a damn thing.  I will always treasure my college years.  You only live them once!  And I had such a blast.

4. What was your favorite class you ever took? HS or College?

I've loved MANY classes but I'll never forget taking Alternative Performance Techniques with Don Boros, my junior year of college.  I want to be Don when I grow up.  Okay, so the class met a couple times a week and every other week, we put up a show that was free to all the public based around some wacky concept.  "Puppets!"  "Words!"  "Sounds!"  and it was always bizarre.  One show, we TP'ed the black box theatre to a light display and the James Bond theme.  Another time, dressed in Glo-sticks, we threw a tarp over my classmate and made her into a maypole of Christmas lights while she screamed over top of "Safety Dance" at top volume.  My final project involved smashing food all over myself and a tarp in a fountain on campus.  I stole an orange cone, climbed inside it, and was filmed following people around as this orange safety barrel.  It was so bizarre and weird but the whole department envied us, getting to create whatever we wanted.

5. Reach into your purse what is the first thing you grab?

My book!  It's always the biggest thing in my purse.  Right now, it's The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks.  A birthday present from my boyfriend!  I've been reading a ton of Heinlein and it is VERY different but I like the little parable Mr. Banks is weaving!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Does Not Compute

well, it's happened again.  last summer, my laptop was reduced to a useless piece of machinery by lack of a charge cord.  earlier this week, almost a year to the day later, it simply refused to turn on. I hve to wonder if the "robots" in my life just know what's best for me and are trying to push me outside to enjoy the weather and "get some fresh air."  well, seeing as how I have no choice, here's what I've been up to:

- working 7-8 days a week
- walking in Greenwich Village
- discovering a new smoothie place!  $3 fresh fruit smoothies on the UWS?  you gotta be kidding me.
- planning outings for fall
- reading a lot of Heinlein & the Culture series by Iain M. Banks - expect lots more book reviews on Mondays!
- self-led culinary very afraid...any good results should end up here!

so if my blog looks funny in the meantime or isn't updated on the regular schedule, it's because my friendly little machines have conspired against me YET AGAIN.  Frakking Cylons.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

#tbt A Tale of Two Robots

On January 19th, 2012, I took this photo in Williamsburg, Brooklyn:

Pay CLOSE ATTENTION the goofy little robots in the bottom, holding up the carnation?

I loved this photo and the robots and the flower SO MUCH that I made that photo my lock screen photo for the past, like, two and a half YEARS.

And THEN....

LAST WEEK, while trying to find coffee (it was a coffee emergency, you see) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I saw THIS GUY painted up on a wall!:

Is it just me, or are these THE SAME ROBOTS?

And could they be trying to tell me something?


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Fruit Wraps

Trader Joe's Fruit Wraps

Tastes Like:  Extra-thick fruit roll-ups.  Or very gummy fruit leather.  The texture is odd, but not displeasing.

Great With:  your evening glass of cranberry juice...or anything else, really.

Perfect For:  Children?  A quick nosh?  A sweet exit to a healthy lunch?

Must Know:  They are "organic," for what it's worth!

Costs:  $0.49 apiece, but they're just a little snack, not a budget-busting splurge!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Jurassic Park

I picked up Jurassic Park in the beginning of the summer, expecting it to be a fast-paced, quick summer read.  Your typical "beach/airplane" book.  I carried it with me all over town and perhaps the most amusing anecdote I can tell you is that when I was reading it in Chelsea Market, a guy who I must describe as a "skateboard bum" approached me and smiled and started to initiate friendly conversation by remarking that he "didn't know they'd made the movie into a book."  Sigh. 

For those of you expecting the book experience to be like the movie at all, you're going to be sorely disappointed.

Oh yes.  For the first, oh, say, half of the book, nothing much happens. all.  In fact, it takes several chapters of bouncing around between incidents before we even meet any of the main characters!  This book suffers from too much "prologue" and then chapter after chapter of science jargon and then FINALLY, dinosaurs.

Here's where I will agree with the "skateboard bum:" normally, I sing the refrain "the book is always better!"  but in this case, I think the movie wins out as being more of the fast-paced, action-packed entertainment that I was hoping for all along.

Throw me to the raptors.  The movie was better.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Social

1. One item you wish you could splurge on right now

I don't think I need them right away, but I would love a pair of hot pink Converse!  I usually have a policy of waiting until my current pair has MASSIVE GAPING HOLES in them, and that is thankfully not the case.  I still find myself wanting a new pair, since the ones I do have a kind of beat-up LOOKING.  Ratty and holey and the rubber is peeling off!  I do have some ideas for re-vamping them, however, and I can invest in a new $7 pair of insoles to help (I hope)!

2. If you had an entire weekend of no plans what would you do?

MAKE SOME GODDAMN PLANS, that's what I'd do!  I'd lay in the grass on the Highline...take a book and my knitting to Central Park...clean my filthy disgusting kitchen...FINALLY reorganize my bedroom!  But unfortunately, my next (possible) day off from work will (possibly) be August 23rd.  I ain't complaining!  I like being busy!

3. Next place you are visiting outside of your current city?

What did I just say, about working nonstop everyday?  I'm staying put, keeping down the fort, until probably Thanksgiving when IF I'M LUCKY, I'll be able to get away.  But I'm not counting on it.

4. Are you a neat freak or a clutterbug?

A little of both - I think the phrase "organized chaos" applies here.  For instance, I recently implemented a method of sock-folding where I stuff one sock into the other so matching socks isn't painfully difficult in the morning.  HOWEVER, the rest of my drawer is a messy shambles.  Ah well!  I can find what I need, that's the most important thing!

5. Favorite Summer purchase?

Hmm...I went to a lot of thrift stores over the summer and I also bought a lot of books.  So, I would say it's a tie between ALL OF MY HEINLEIN BOOKS and the black dress I bought at the Salvation Army for like $4?  I think it looks especially good when styled with a boa.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

#tbt My Blog Turns 5!

So apparently, I started this little blog FIVE YEARS ago!  Woohoo!  Originally, my posts were short (like tweets) but now they' so?  And it may interest you to know that when I first started this blog, I loved to rhyme.  So for my blog's fifth birthday, I would like to regale you with three of my old poems concerning various subway encounters (like ya do) starting with the oldest ditty, originally published on August 29, 2009:

Ode to the Crazy Homeless Lady Who Shoved Me Hard in the Subway

Downtown bound West 4th Street Platform,
You pushed me on the side-slash/arm.
I saw the cops, but they didn't see
You randomly assaulting me.
Were you rushing for the train?
Or angry because you're insane?
The train doors shut, and, with a sneer,
You shouted obscenities so all could hear,
Pulled up your shorts and glared around
As the train continued downtown.
For no matter what you may have done,
The 8th Avenue Local waits for noone.

This next poem was inspired by one of those classic "WTF?" New York moments, originally published on May 9th, 2011:

The Lonely Mop

Dear Lonely Mop,
Where the hell you from?
Are you trying to reach
The Downtown 1?

Dear Lonely Mop
Wherefore art thou?
And how long have you
Been hiding out?

Dear Lonely Mop,
So stealth! So cool!
I'll keep doin' me
And you keep doin' you.

And lastly, my habit of creeping on strangers on the train extends even to rhyme, as we see in this untitled piece, originally published on July 2, 2011:

Blonde hair
Dark roots
Sweatpants in summer
Ugg boots

To and fro
Side to side
Rock-a-bye baby
Subway ride

Drooly chin
Nodding head
Missed your stop
Time for bed.

Thanks for letting me survive for 5 years.  Please don't put me on GOMI for this.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Pure Organic Bars

Pure Organic Cherry Cashew & Chocolate Brownie Bars

Tastes Like:  Rich, sticky, gooey delicious dessert that's actually good for you!  The cherry cashew flavour tastes like gnawable, portable pie filling. and the brownie - do I even need to say it?  Okay, imagine Little Debbie walnut brownies, but denser and richer.  Now make them a million times better for you.  I like the taste of that.

Great With:  I bet a glass of cold milk would make both of these a little more indulgent, but I'm usually savoring them on a park bench in the middle of one of my ramblin' adventures.

Perfect For:  Tossing into your purse or backpack in case of sudden Snack Attack.  They seem to hold their shape fairly well, and not discorporate like some granola bars after spending a week or so at the bottom of your favourite catch-all satchel.

Must Know:  Gluten-free, vegan, kosher, organic.  Why, only an Airitarian* would have a problem with these!

* Airitarians are people who only consume air and air products

They do, however, seem to be comprised mostly of nuts, an astonishing amount of nuts and nut butters, but if you're allergic, then, NUTS to you!  More for me!

Costs:  $1.49 per bar.  I've only seen these sold on an individual basis, but would buy a box in a heartbeat if I could find them anywhere (anywhere else that is, ha ha, I'd never cheat on you, Joe!  You know that!)  That may seem steep, but compared to other specialty bars for people who Don't Eat Any Gluten, Meat, Dairy, or Anything Else Ever and worry about what they'll do if they get stuck somewhere and can't find sustenance, $1.49 for a sustaining and mind-blowingly delicious meal-on-the-go isn't too shabby, now, is it?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday Social

1. One Show you would love to see on Netflix that isn’t there

I wish I could watch all of the classic run of Doctor Who on Netflix - it's available on HuluPlus, but not Netflix?  Almost makes me think about cancelling Netflix to switch to Hulu....

2. One song you wish they would play more on the radio

I don't really listen to the radio - that's what I have Pandora for!  I love Pandora radio.  I've noticed that every "cool" place I go to plays Pandora radio.  Hair salons, tattoo parlors, vegan restaurants...

3. Your favorite song to sing loudly to in the car

I don't know if it's my FAVOURITE, but back in college when I was the Default Designated Driver (being the only person anyone knew who had a car), I would pull up outside my friends' dorms to take them out and cue up Billy Ocean's "Get Out of My Dreams (Get Into My Car)" and sing  scream the opening bit:

"HEY!  (hey!)
YOU!  (you!)
(who me?)
(drum beats)

4. What Movie/TV show do you quote the most?

This might be random but I think I quote Better Off Dead, the John Cusack dark comedy, the most.  I'm always getting asked by tourists "How do you get to (name of a place that's super close that they're almost on top of it already)?"  And I get to quote the line:

"Go that way.  Really fast.  If something gets in your way...turn."

5. One silly thing you do daily

I can think of so many silly things that I do but nothing that I do daily and nothing particularly silly, at least by my own standards.  One thing I do every day is dip carrots in peanut butter.  That's not really all that silly, I would say.  But it is daily, or nearly almost always daily, and unusual!

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Time I Wore A Snake

Like, I'm always bragging about how New York City is magical and any given night can turn into an amazing adventure and blah blah blah and I think sometimes people roll their eyes and assume that "New York City is a constant adventure!" is just something we tell ourselves to justify paying more on rent than we make in a month and most of the time that's probably true but


On my way to go see an accordion festival ( ! ) uptown I chanced upon this big lady at the West 4th Street subway station.  I asked her handler if I could pet her.  "You can hold her!" he encouraged, and then draped Honey Boo Boo (that's the snake's name, no lie!) over my shoulders and instructed me to "cradle her like a baby."

She was heavy - VERY heavy - but warm and soft and reminded me of holding a puppy.  A very very LOOOOONG puppy.  But gentle and aside from being oh did I mention quite heavy, she was a total doll.

Just goes to show that adventure lies around every corner!  Unless you're Indiana Jones.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

#tbt On The Boards

I used to act, believe it or not.  This photo from my college days, back when I used to love acting and boy, do I look like I'm loving it in this picture!  How hot is that orange and yellow dress?  And the white feather twixt mine cleavage?  Hawtness.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Trader Joe's Tuesday: Apple-Banana & Apple-Mango Bars

Trader Joe's Apple-Banana & Apple-Mango Bars

Tastes Like:  well, first, we'd be remiss if we didn't say what these things look like:  slabs of semi-digested food.  Or bird-feeder fodder.  Or some kind of fruit jerky?  But if you close your eyes, and try not to think about it, they're delicious!  The Apple-Mango tastes like a gummy fruit treat, and the Apple-Banana variety tastes like fresh-baked banana nut bread.  Both are pretty delicious, but to be honest, the Apple-Banana is the clear winner here.

Great With:  perhaps a cold glass of milk?  I think they're meant to be eaten on the fly, as I did.

Perfect For:  throwing into the bottom of your purse and pulling out when you're in a shit mood and desperate for a sweet snack.

Must Know:  vegan and gluten-free!  The only ingredients are the fruits themselves.  HOW DO THEY DO IT?

Costs:  $1.49 apiece, and the Apple-Banana is TOTALLY worth it.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Job: A Comedy of Justice

My first Heinlein novel may still be my favourite.  It's called Job:  A Comedy of Justice but it could just as easily be called Alec and Margrethe:  A Romance of Love because this book is dripping - dripping - in adorable little scenes like THIS:


(it earns bonus points for awesome because that penultimate line echos the sentiment of the tattoo on my left arm)

Just as Margrethe sweeps Alec along with her charms, so will Job:  A Comedy of Justice seduce you into wanting to do nothing else but read!  As far as Heinlein's crazy tomes go, this one is fairly short - just around 300 pages - and moves along speedily compared to Time Enough for Love or Stranger in a Strange Land where you can find yourself lost in dialogue.  Speaking of lost, though, I'm sorry to say that you may be a bit confused for a while.  I recall describing the wonderful book I was smack dab in the middle of to a coworker:

"Cool, what's it about?"

"I have no idea!  But it's TOTALLY AWESOME!"

I had my theories...but they were all proven wrong!  Gotta love a book that can really - and I mean really - keep you guessing!

Now I think it's only fair to warn you that this book takes quite the heavy hit at religion, but if you're not prepared for that with Heinlein, you're already in over your head.  Suffice to say, it's a parody of the book of Job, re-written as Heinlein saw fit.  Fixing wrong bits and whatnot.  Give the man a soapbox to discuss religion, and you're gonna get it.

The ending is perfect - perfect - but I won't spoil it for you here, you'll just have to read it to find out!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sunday Social

1. Gum or mints?

Gum, but BUBBLEGUM.  Crybaby super sour gum, if you've got it!  Or, I will take a big blue Bubble King gumball!  Or pink, if I'm feeling flirty and nostalgic.  Something about smacking on gum makes me feel sophisticated like a teenager again... which is weird, since I had braces and couldn't chew gum from when I was 14 until when I was 20...yes, I had braces from high school into college!  I never got to be a cool kid sneaking gum into ninth period Spanish class, so I think I'm making up for lost time now.  Plus, gumballs are round, sexy, and opulent - take it from a candy expert.  Gumballs, FTW!

2. Tea or Coffee?

I like my tea every now and then, but coffee is my foreverlove.  No milk.  No sugar.  We don't need to complicate things.  Black as midnight on a moonless night, and I'm happy as a peach.  Mmmm, peach.  Speaking of, marzipan shaped like a peach is a delectable companion to a rich cup of black coffee in the morning:

3. Fruits or Veggies?

Tough choice!  I love them both, but I'll pick veggies!  I adore all of the weird vegetables most people turn their noses up at, like Brussels sprouts and asparagus and mushrooms...I eat RAW KALE.  I'm super hardcore like that.

4. TV or Movies?

I'm going to say TV right now, because it's easy to sit through an episode or two of TV but movies take time to finish.  But I'm not really watching many screens lately!

5. Candles or Diffusers?

CANDLES CANDLES CANDLES.  Or, I'll use incense to set a mood!  But I adore candles.  I have a problem with buying SO MANY CANDLES.

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