Well, I've got ebay fever, but in a good way. I sold the 4 things that I listed last week. I think after all the ebay fees I might get 30 dollars for some things that I never use anymore (or never did.) I am so stoked that I just listed another 3 items. I'm not going to make a lot of money selling my junk, but at least I'm getting something for it.
Okay, so we didn't really fast, but yesterday felt like a fast day. The power went out early Sunday morning, so we couldn't watch TV, or play on the internet, and we were lazy, and just slept most of the day. I woke up from my nap with a dehydration headache. Hmmm....like Yom Kippur.
So, the power was out. The traffic lights were out. That means it should be a four way stop. No. People didn't stop. I was going to go somewhere today on my way home today, but a traffic light was out. I refused to run it, and I was scared that I'd get rear-ended by the guy doing 55 behind me, so I just turned and came home. I'm really amazed (I don't know why) that people don't stop. They don't even slow down.
We didn't really have frappuccinos either. But we did end up at Starbucks. I wanted to check my email--see if I had one about my interview, and double check what time it was supposed to be. We decided to go to Panera, but that block had no power, so we went to Starbuckos. We shared a vanilla latte, and the laptop.
A short while after we came home (and lit a bunch of candles) the power came back on. I was crazy happy. I played on my laptop and delighted in the thought of a hot shower in the morning.
Okay, I think I look terrible in this photo. The shadows are definitely not flattering. I saw a 1960s hairdo in a magazine and since my hair is still straight I decided to try it. I followed the directions, ratting/teasing my hair, and it looks sort of like the photo in the magazine. Ross did NOT like it. I like playing with the straight hair. I'll be straightening it again tomorrow for an interview on Monday--but I don't think I'll bumpit.
Okay, so it isn't exactly a reunion, but I now have a fork and spoon pair, soIfeel good. Back in March I lost the fork that I carry around with me. In the last few months I guess silver prices have climbed right along with gold prices, so finding a replacement fork or new set at a decent price was difficult. I was obsessed with finding another fork or getting a new set. Last weekend I won this fork on ebay and now I have a set again.
I decided even before I got the fork that I was going to need some kind of case to keep my set in so that I'm less likely to lose it and it is less likely to get scratched up in my purse. I couldn't think of what to use, but I saw a small purse that my mom gave me hanging in the closet this morning and I decided it would be perfect to carry the spoon and fork in. After some folding and cutting and sewing I have a nice, lightweight case to carry my silverware in. The case is my favorite color (brown), and has a dragon on it (I'm a dragon), and has separate pockets for each piece of silverware. It is just right.
I saw a cute updo in a magazine last month. I tried to do it, but I just couldn't manage it. My hair was curly, and too short. I tried it again the other day with straight hair. It is still a little short for the bottom part to work out right, but I liked the way it turned out. It is funny how stiff my hair is when I straighten it and put in in a pony tail. It will stick straight out of the back of my head!
I've enjoyed having my hair straight this week. I like playing around with it. I'm not sure if I want to grow it out a bit more, or chop it off. I like the length in front, but I feel like it is too long in the back.
For some reason I started looking at vintage dresses on ebay last night. I love vintage dresses, especially from the 50's, but I've never bought one. Why? Because I don't have a waspish waist. It seems that most dresses in the 50's were made for women with small breasts and teeny tiny waists. 24 or 26 inch waists!
I somehow forgot that's why I've never bought a vintage dress. In fact, because of this problem I have spent money on vintage patterns so that I could make a dress that would fit. Have I made a dress? Only one, and that was years ago. I suppose that's something I should put on next year's list of goals. Sewing a dress is a lot more realistic than losing 30 pounds to try and achieve a 26 inch waist.
I was on the phone with my mom a while ago when I felt an earthquake. It started off as small shaking and then got worse. It lasted at least 30 seconds. I just kept saying "The house is shaking. It's not stopping!"
I have felt earthquakes before--when we lived in Greece, but that was a long time ago. This is the strongest and longest earthquake I've ever felt. It felt as if the building was being shaken front to back. The light fixtures and my vases were rattling pretty loudly. Some pictures fell over, but there isn't any damage. I hope the aftershocks aren't too bad.
Bailey didn't give any sort of warning. She was sitting with me, and we just kind of looked at each other when it started. She seems a little agitated now, but it could be because of the construction outside and the banging they are doing to replace some siding.
In attempt to keep up with the Joneses I made challah on Friday. I thought up the idea to make peach shortcake with the challah, the peaches I bought at the farmer's market, and some leftover cream. Ross whipped up the cream with some vanilla. I toasted the challah and put honey on both sides. I peeled and chopped up the peaches. I assembled them and voila--dessert. Very yummy dessert.
I'm so tickled that we have had so many hummingbirds at our feeder lately. I often even see one chase another from the feeder. It seems they don't like to share. I've heard the very silly myth that hummingbirds never stop flying or land. Well, I see that myth debunked every day.
While I enjoy the hummingbirds, Bailey does not. Even if all she can see is its tail peeking down from the far side of the feeder, she cries.
To try to capture a photo of the hummingbirds I sat out on the balcony in my rocking chair--just waiting. A hummingbird came right up to the railing and chittered at me. I don't think I'd ever heard one make noise. I snapped a couple of photos of them near the feeder, but didn't get this one until I gave up and came inside. I got one of two of them, but it was blurry.
I don't like birds, but I really do enjoy watching the hummingbirds. As you see in the photo--my feeder is red, but the liquid is not. It really isn't necessary to color the food, and may in fact be harmful to the birds. I don't buy any special food, I just mix table sugar with water, and they seem to love it (unfortunately, so do the wasps).
I'm going to miss the hummingbirds when the weather turns.
I am totally digging the song Calgary by Bon Iver. I have no idea what the guy is singing. I looked up the words, and that kind of wrecked it. The song doesn't make any sense. I wish I'd just left it alone. It really reminds me of the song Frou Frou Foxes in Midsummer Fires by Cocteau Twins. That song gets stuck in my head, and it's kind of funny, cause I have no idea what the words are...
Over a month ago Ross swung a little too wide when pulling into the garage and scraped the bumper and front fender against the edge of the garage door. Ooops. I wasn't mad because it was truly an accident. He wasn't screwing around at all. Still, he hurt, mangled, damaged, defiled, injured, defaced, crumpled, dented, scraped, and scratched my precious car. It didn't bother me too much. It was on the passenger side, so I didn't see it when getting into and out of the car. Still, I wanted it fixed. At the drive in I felt like people were staring at my poor car's booboo. We dropped off the car last week, and picked it up this morning. My car is back to its beautiful black self. I took it to the car wash, then straight home to dry it, and make sure it was really clean. It is all sparkly now. I love my car. Ross is no longer allowed to drive it.
You know how they say you should switch up your routine to challenge your brain? Like brush your teeth with your left hand? I felt like my brain was being challenged this week when I was driving Ross's car. Ross's car is a stick shift. Real women (can) drive stick. My first (and only other car besides my black beauty) was a stick shift, but I hadn't driven stick in a while. I had to wake up my left foot. I kept forgetting to downshift. Luckily I can go from a stop in second gear, and I didn't stall it when I tried to go from a stop in third. Teehee.
I feel very strongly about being able to drive stick. I feel that it is a skill everyone should learn.
Here is my overdue post about knitting a scarf for Tejal. I think it took me about a year and a half to finish knitting this scarf. I made up the pattern and knitted a scarf in the round. I wish I had made it a bit skinnier (like Tejal), because it would have looked nicer and I would have finished faster. This is the first knitting project that I finished this year. I have a sewing project that I want to work on, then I think I'll go back to knitting. This weekend I bought some yarn for a specific project that I think will knit up very quickly. I knitted this scarf with size 2 needles I think. Tiny. I'm not doing that again for a while.
Here is a photo of us with our boy Ethan. I'm so glad we got to see him before he left for California. Ethan was super excited to see Uncle Ross. They played with legos, fought each other with light sabers and the force, and played a few wii games. Ethan and I went ice skating. We miss him so much.
Right now my favorite show is Waking the Dead. I've mentioned before how complicated it can be. I was happy to discover that Netflix now has seasons 1-5 (of 9) of Waking the Dead available on instant watch. I watched the very first episode and it was a fine example of everything I love about the show.
D.S. Peter Boyd is a grade-A bastard. He treats everyone like crap. He may be the leader, but everyone is an equal member of the team. No one is the bumbling side-kick or lab-tech who aspires to be part of the team. Everyone on the team is intelligent and contributes to the case. The cast changes up a little as the show goes on, but Boyd is always in charge.
This series is a bit dark. The criminals are always sick, twisted folks, who commit sick and twisted crimes. The plots are always complex. The shows are mentally stimulating, challenging. You try to solve the crimes along with the team. If you aren't paying attention, you could miss something important. They generally don't repeat the clues or hit you over the head with explanations of who did what when. The show treats the audience like an intelligent member of the team, not like a clueless bystander. I think that is what I like best about it. I also like that the characters aren't sleeping together. There is some personal drama, but it is usually subtle.
I might actually watch the episodes in order just to see how the characters develop. The only other series that measures up to this is Wire in the Blood. I watched all 6 seasons on Netflix instant watch and loved it.
I'm looking back at my goals for 2011. I've accomplished two of my goals: I've finished the Dark Tower series, and I've gone to the drive in more than three times this year. I've worked on a couple of others--I've finished one knitting project, and I've gone to NYC once. I think the next thing I need to work on is reading a book in Spanish. I don't think I'm even going to try reading (again) the book I have. I'm going to look for something simpler. I need to check and see if they have something at the library.
I don't think I'll get to NYC three times this year. Probably just twice. I think two out of three is enough to call that a goal accomplished. I weigh less today than I did when I wrote the goals post on January 1st, but I'm still not down to 140.
I haven't accomplished all my goals, but the year isn't over yet.
I often lament that I'm not good at anything. I look at my collections, and think that I don't even have a decent collection of anything. Then I realized I have a beautiful collection of shoes. I have over 40 pairs of shoes. My Miz Mooz shoes are special. Except for the flats each pair of shoes represents a trip to New York City. I buy shoes instead of souvenirs. I really want to show off my new boots, but it is a little too hot right now. I think I'll show off my strappy sandals for now.
We went to the Drive in on Friday and saw three movies. First on the line up was the final Harry Potter movie. The movie was dark. I don't mean somber or twisted, I mean there was a lack of lighting. I didn't see the last movie, but I don't feel like I missed much. It was a typical Harry Potter movie. I find the Harry Potter characters all rather annoying. I'm neither sad nor glad to see them go.
Captain America was the second movie of the night. Ross and I really enjoyed this one. The fighting was awesome, and like Nicole, I really liked how he beat up his enemies with the shield. He had a lot of strength, and a lot of heart, but no real supernatural powers. This was a fun movie. Ross really liked Red Skull.
The third movie of the night was Crazy Stupid Love. I'm glad we were able to stay awake for this one. Steve Carell didn't get on my nerves with a bunch of Michael Scott-like manerisms. I kept expecting Julianne Moore to have a Boston accent because of her stint on 30 Rock. We both liked the movie.
Of the three movies Harry Potter was the worst. Captain America was much better than Thor, but not as good as X Men First Class. Crazy Stupid Love, hmm. I think I might have liked it the best of the three. I found a theme linking all three movies--shirtless guys. Ryan Gosling was sexy, and Chris Evans looked fake--it was a little too much. Ross says that this was our sixth trip to the drive in this year!
I'm not sure why I had not made risotto before. Probably because it takes constant attention. Last week I decided to finally give it a go. I was going to use all vegetable broth, but the broth was very strong, so I used about half broth and half water. I liked the end result, it just came out salty.
Bacon and Cheese Risotto
1 diced onion
3 slices bacon, cooked until crispy and finely chopped (I used low salt Turkey bacon)
3/4 c. arborio rice
2 1/2 c. liquid (very hot) -- Liquid can be broth or water or combination
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
1. Saute the onion in oil until soft.
2. Add rice and toast for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add bacon and stir.
4. Add liquid a little at a time, stirring constantly and cooking off water before adding more.
5. When all liquid has been absorbed mixture is creamy stir in cheese and remove from heat.
I made this again last night--without the broth and without the bacon. I added lots of rosemary and basil from the garden. It definitely wasn't salty last night, and it had a very different flavor without the bacon.
On Sunday morning we had breakfast at Financier. I was really attracted to this place because it was so bright and crisp compared to everything else in New York. I had almond brioche and Ross had some kind of apple pastry. We shared an extra large latte. It was nice to just sit and chill. It kind of reminded me of Italy.
We checked out of the hotel and headed to...where else....the bakery for some sweets to go. Then we headed up to the bus stop. The bus stop was different from last time. It was at a different location and with a different set up. They had us waiting in long lines. It was hot. The sun was blaring. I had my new white hat and my umbrella to shield me. Ross went and got us some lunch while I waited in line. When he got back they asked if we wanted to get on an earlier bus. We jumped at the opportunity to get out of the heat. We came home and Bailey yelled at us for leaving her again.
After the High Line we went back to Infinity Shoes to buy my boots. I think I broke the record for how much I've ever spent on a single pair of shoes. I'm sure I'll get as much use out of them as I did my other pair of Miz Mooz boots. I love all my Miz Mooz shoes and I always get compliments when I wear them. We dropped the boots off at the hotel and rested up a bit for dinner. We decided to eat in Midtown so that we could go to Del Frisco's for dessert. We wanted to go to Del Frisco's at lunch, but it was closed. On the way to dinner we were drawn into St. Patrick's Cathedral by the organ music:
After dinner we went into Del Frisco's. We sat at a cocktail table and a cute little cocktail waitress--from Texas--brought us the dessert menu. We were very saddened to see that the lemon cake wasn't on the menu. We asked, and the waitress said they have it, but it just isn't on the menu. Whew! Crisis averted! Bring me a gin and tonic and slice of lemon cake! The slice of cake was ginormous. It was bliss. Again, I need to write an ode to that lemon cake.
We took a cab back down to the financial district. We were too tired and it was too hot to mess with all the subway disruptions. After a shower we passed out.
The High Line is an abandoned, elevated freight line on the West side of Manhattan that has been turned into a public park. The weather was much better on Saturday, so we headed over to check it out after we were done with the street fair. Ross said he wasn't expecting a finished walkway. The whole thing was really cool. There was a roller skating rink set up below the 30th street entrance, but there was no way were were going to do that--our feet were already too sore!
This is what the undeveloped part looks like--there are are plants growing on the abandoned (since 1980) railway.
The developed part of the High Line has lots of different kinds of plants and flowers. Some parts of the walkway have the old rail lines exposed. Oh, and the guy bending over in the forefront of the picture is getting a drink of water from a talking water fountain. The water fountain talked about how important hydration is...blah, blah, blah. It was hot and people were congregating in the shady areas. We bought a lilikoi/sugar cookie ice cream sandwich and took a long break in the shade. The ice cream sandwich was excellent. The cookies had just a touch of salt, which made it awesome. That's me on the steps in the white hat. That break really helped to re-energize us. We kept seeing people with paletas coming from the other direction. When we got to the stand the line was really long. I'm glad we got ice cream--there was no line! The grassy areas were closed for restoration. I can totally understand why. The High Line was really crowded. When the grass areas are open I'm sure they really take a beating.
I really enjoyed the High Line. I will definitely go back. I hope that the city is able to acquire the rest of the line and continue the park.
After breakfast (pastries), we walked over to ground zero just to see how things have changed since November 2009. There are a couple of buildings that have sprung up. Here are a couple of photos so you can see the difference.
We took the subway up to the street festival on Avenue of the Americas. It wasn't that cool. There was a lot of fair food, and the same stuff (Chinese imports) for sale on every block. I got something from a Turkish food stand for lunch. It was really tasty. Kind of like a Turkish burrito. I found a booth with printed T shirts that I really liked, but I decided to save my money for boots. Ross liked the sculptures at one of the booths. See photos:
We went back and Ross bought the Wall-E sculpture. I bought a 5 dollar scarf at the booth next door.
We headed up to NYC on Friday morning on the Megabus. We didn't take a suitcase. I took my big purse and Ross took a back pack. That's it. Ross was very impressed with how little I packed. We arrived in NYC around 12:30 I think, and we were very hungry. We took the subway down to Chinatown and ate at New Green Bo. They have great steamed vegetable dumplings. We got an order of those and eggplant with garlic sauce. It was just the right amount of food. Then we walked in a big circle looking for the bakery we like in Little Italy. Okay, let me mention now that it was very hot, and very humid. When I bit into that cold, cream-filled lobster tail I was in heaven.
We walked down to the financial district and checked into our hotel. After a short rest we headed up to the theater district to enter the Book of Mormon lottery.
Look at the crowd! There were so many people! Everyone entered to win $32 tickets to the show. We didn't win. Someone else named Brown won.
We left and went down to 34th street for some shopping. It rained. It was hot and humid and icky sticky. I looked at shoes in Macy's. We went to Infinity Shoes and I fell in love with a pair of boots. We stopped by La Bella Ferrara again for more pastries and then dragged ourselves back to the hotel.