Monday, October 31, 2011

Day 53

Baby Vampire

When I was maybe four or five, my mom taught us how to play a variation of the "Trick or Treat" song on a little toy keyboard. I think she threw in some Chinese somewhere, but I can't seem to remember now.

Witches, ghosts, and goblins.
Stealing down the street,
Knock on every door way,
Trick or treat!

When your door is opened,
This is what you meet,
Scary creatures shouting,
Trick or treat!

There's a home video of me playing this song on the keyboard, and my brother trying to help me. I, ever the awesome big sister, swat his hand away and say, "I know!" when he tries helping me figure out the next note. I had been pausing for a two beat count. Jeez! (Jon likes pointing out what a brat I was in that particular recorded moment.)

I tried figuring out a way to convey what this song would sound like on a keyboard, but it doesn't seem like the Internet is equipped to do that yet. I found a virtual keyboard site, but not one that has a record button. Maybe next Halloween.

When I was maybe nine or twelve or somewhere in between, I recorded myself on my sister's tape recorder thing with a microphone. I had a my first Sony, but she had a different device. I forget what it was, but it was easier singing into it for whatever reason. And boy did I love to sing though I was/still am incredibly tone deaf. Or rather, I can identify notes, but I just can't sing them for my life. Anyway, I recorded an awesome song about the night before Halloween: Mischief Night. And how dumb it was to waste toilet paper and eggs. My siblings dutifully played it to our neighborhood kids to embarrass the hell out of me. (I highly doubt it was because they loved my song/singing.)


Haiku: Waiting for Justin Timberlake

My camera's view of
Dave Letterman's studio:
Didn't see JT.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Smurf the Smurfing Smurf!

I hate losing, but it happens. We lost the Halloween contest. We MADE the hats and WORE paint. What else do you people want?! Eh. Halloween is not my holiday.

*Update: Click here to see what other people dressed up as.

Haiku: Weather Update

Did you know that it
might snow tomorrow and be 
a terrible mess?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day 52

My mom helped (totally did all the work) me sew up the costumes for my departments' costumes. I pathetically tried to thread the machine and properly bobbin it. My mom worked as a child laborer in a sweatshop for a bit. And she's made award-winning costumes she's designed and made herself. I hope we win!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Day 51

On Friday, I went to Mercat with Dani and Nat and used a Google Offer coupon. (Mercat is really nearby Hung Ry, which was also a delicious dinner a long time ago.) Here's a quick rundown:

3 pieces: shrimp in cream sauce neatly package in friedness; these I'd get again.

3 pieces: shredded chicken (not as creamy as the shrimp), fried up; these I'd probably pass on due to them not being as creamy as the shrimp; I wish they had a pork croquetas though.

Great dish to share; really good fried potatoes; these I'd get again.

Kind of messy to share, but it was really satisfying; per the menu: Mushrooms, Fried Egg, Truffle Vinaigrette, and Fried shoestring Potatoes; I'd want to get this again--I want to eat this right now--but there's a lot of other stuff on the menu to try.

Sliced into 4 pieces: I think we had this, but it had tomatoes too--and I don't remember the potatoes; per the menu: Grilled Hanger Steak, Cipollini Onions, Fingerling Potatoes, Watercress and La Peral Sauce; same as above--the steak, whichever one we had, was cooked and seasoned so nicely though.

The size of this dessert was like a Landmarc dessert (so, small), but it was satisfying; same as above--I'd get again, but there's other stuff to try, like churros! It's less souffle-y than molten chocolate cake-y, so would really hit the chocolate spot; we decided on this dessert because Friday was cold, and when the weather is cold, it's time to eat warm chocolate. 

The place was really cute and cozy. Kind of like a Spanish version of the original-Landmarc. The waitress was incredibly patient with us too because we were waiting for Jon to show up and just ordered to pass the time initially. (He was stuck in a meeting the entire time and didn't make it though.) And the coupon shaved a nice little portion of our final bill. With all these coupons and discounts all over the place, you feel kind of like a chump paying regular price to eat out anymore. 

Today, I cut out pieces of my department's costumes for our Halloween party on Friday. Tomorrow, I will sew them up. I also bought the big thing of blue body paint from Ricky's. Blue.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day 50

Yesterday, I woke up to a faint sound of construction. It was great. It wasn't the sound of hammering and drilling that usually bores a hole in my soul. (On a weekday, it's been the construction that makes me want to go to work, for some peace and quiet.) Anyway, they're quickly assembling the rest of the building thankfully.

When I was little, there was a building in Fairview, NJ on Bergen Blvd. that took awhile to construct. I was maybe seven or eight and the word "sexy" had entered my vocabulary somehow. (I mean it totally made me blush. Similarly, "s-e-x" was a three letter word that made my blood pressure rise so quickly that I'd get dizzy.) So because this building didn't have its walls up, it was naked. Because it was naked, it was sexy. I dubbed it the sexy building.

I now live in a sexy building that is slowly, slowly getting dressed.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day 49

Today, Lakshmi came over for dinner. We had Dickson's sloppy joe over linguine and olive bread and baby lettuce and marked correctly priced mozzarella and Financier tiramisu and chocolate something with raspberry. It was good times.

On her way over she ran into the guy who plays Ben Linus on Lost and is now on Person of Interest. Thinking he was someone familiar, she said hi to him. And he smiled back. He was walking his dog.

We watched the latest episode of Ringer. Jon can get the TV characters on that show to answer his questions. It's like he's the Ringer whisperer.

Yesterday, I learned about not cooking smelly chicken. The smell doesn't disappear by cooking. And it tastes as bad as it smells, which might be vomit inducing. And today I saw a bridesmaid dress that might be reused as a chicken costume for Halloween. Just raise the hem a bit and the normal bridesmaid dress stuff. Easy peasy. Cluck.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day 48

I had some enrichment time at work today, so I read one of the classic reference for copy editors: Words Into Type (WIT).

I started with abbreviations.

e.g. = for example 
i.e. = that is

I've not used the above abbreviations since I've had to take notes to study as dictated by a professor of some sort. I remembered "e.g." was used for examples because "examples" sounds like "eggsamples" and there you have the "e.g." If that was "e.g." then other one is "i.e." and was used for something specific/definite.

when using "such as" do not also use "etc." or "and so forth"

I feel like most rambling characters use "etc." and "and so forth," so it's interesting that they're not allowed to use "such as" as well. (e.g. I love meat, such as salami, prosciutto, etc. and so forth. i.e. all cured meats especially.)


"US" when this book was written was designated to include periods, but even then, they admitted that the trend has been moving toward no periods. Per Chicago Manual of Style 16 (CMS 16), there aren't any periods. What's interesting is that they use the "Soviet Union" and the "U.S.S.R." as examples too. I really think they should come out with a new edition. It's been more than thirty years!

(small caps) A.D.

I forget if this concurs with WIT, but it's the house style I'm supposed to use.

cf. = compare
et al. = and others
i.q. = the same as
Q.E.D. = which was to be demonstrated
sup. = above

These are abbreviations that I think I've seen in Infinite Jest

q.l. = as much as you please = as much as seems good
q.v. = as much as you will

WIT said that these are abbreviations that might be seen on a prescription. I think their ambivalence is kind of fun.

Fun fact: WIT recommends not using a period for any abbreviations of measurement except for inches since it can be confused as the preposition "in." Though I guess I just demonstrated that it could still be confused for the preposition "in," and now this sentence ends over there (see period at end) to avoid that.

I thought I'd get to commas, but numbers was up next. Numbers. They make me so sleepy. Zzz . . .

Monday, October 17, 2011

Day 47

Chrysanthemum (Lorem Gult Centar)

On Saturday we went to the dentist, ate at Mitsuwa, ate Blizzards at DQ, and then saw Mr. Popper's Penguins (not terrible, and Jim Carey is surprisingly funny) and part of Dune (Kyle MacLachlan! Sting!). I totally forgot to sing the "DairyQueen in My Dreams" (c) 2008 Christina Solazzo song! Next time.

On Sunday we went to the New York Botanical Garden. (It's the one in the Bronx.) It was awesome. 

Chrysanthemum (Superflufficus Blanc)

The weather was gorgeous; we got to see Lakshmi and Bryan; and Lakshmi got us in for free!

Chrysanthemum (Strictusendens)

The NYBG had a Japanese chrysanthemum exhibit (Fall Flowers of Japan) and Halloween exhibit (The Haunted Pumpkin Garden). The chrysanthemums were beautiful. If I had a fall fete, I'd definitely try to use chrysanthemums.

The above picture is made up of tons of the below picture, but it's all cultivated from the same plant.

The NYBG does a better job of explaining how it's done.

The really fluffy chrysanthemums start as a tangled flower in the picture below.

They are shaken (not stirred) and are fluffed into shape. They come in three different flavors as far as I can tell: marshmallow, superfluffy scrambled eggs, and berry.

In the pavilion there was a gardenia tree that smelled like a hotel room. Jon really liked that tree. He stood underneath it twice.

We saw Monarch butterflies hanging out too. The phone camera was still set on macro, so you'll just have to trust me that a butterfly is there. There were maybe two other ones elsewhere, unless it was just the same one that stalked us.

Again, the photo above was taken set on macro, but in any case the pumpkin patch was basically jack-'o-lanterns displayed in interesting ways. We're not really sure if they're real or plastic.

We ate at the garden cafe with the hot food: chili with the works, hamburger, apple crumble. We visited the rock garden (not a garden of rocks, but plants that can grow on rocks and stuff) and took a ride on the tram before we headed home.

We went to Yakitori Totto for dinner. It was a good weekend.

Today nothing has happened yet, and it's 5:30. Absolutely nothing.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Day 46

I feel like it's been the rainiest fall ever. I don't like it, but I guess it might as well rain if I have to be at work and the sun sets at 6 p.m.

It's hard doing anything on this computer nowadays because the sofa mouse has just gotten really terrible. Since we're situated basically two feet in front of the monitor/TV though, I think it's dumb that we don't just have a wire mouse. My wrist hurts from shaking it--as if shaking it would actually help the situation. Maybe I need to blow the dust out from somewhere. That worked for Nintendo games anyway.

Make it rain, tassle lady. Make it rain.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Day 45

Another animation. Click the stars.
This Photoshop animation is one that I've been working on for about a week from conception to drawing the water towers and stars and then putting it all together. (The first Google link on how to animate in Photoshop is incredibly helpful and easy to follow.) Hopefully, I'll soon get beyond the sun rising and get into something grittier. Like a noir piece. Or a rap video.

Speaking of rap videos, have you seen this?

She's my hero. I'd be her for Halloween or at least the little blonde next to her because I have no idea what this "Super Bass" song actually is and they're dressed like princesses (!), but Jon wants to go as Terence and Philip from South Park. Ehh . . .

Whoa. I just looked up the lyrics for Super Bass. Wow, kids are hilarious.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Day 44

Click the sun to see animation. I dare you.

Trying to teach myself how to animate things in Photoshop. Trust me. When I figure this ish out, it's going to be awesome.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day 43

So I went to Zara by 54th and Fifth Ave. to ponder those shoes again. But they weren't on sale. Lisa said they're like a mullet. I don't think a mullet shoe design is a bad one.

What is up with this Castle episode? It's oddly artsy. Fartsy. Buht.

Saw Hawaii 5-0 too. Ate a Caramac. Mmm . . . the perfect way to enjoy an episode of Keanu, NJ guy, Jin, Locke, the cylon, and the blonde. I can't believe Alex Mack is in cahoots with Iron Chef America. Tsk.

HIMYM (is it supposed to read kind of like "hymen"?) wasn't the best, but at least it had Ewoks. Man, those things kind of scare me. I find them intimidating. Those guys, I'd cross the street, definitely. Ewoks!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Day 42

It was so sunny this morning, but now it's kind of cloudy and dark and depressing. It's only 6 p.m. I have to finish proofreading a kind of scary middle-grade book about a girl who turns her friends (and mother) into dolls. The designer didn't use the character styles, so none of the italics picked up. I had a lot to underline and mark to ital.

This weekend's weather was perfect. I tried absorbing in as much of it as possible. My parents went down the shore and to the beach. In an e-mail from the beach:

Water is fine! Lots of schools of baby fish!

I am so jealous.

Around noon on Saturday, Jon and I went to the New York Mutual Trading Japanese Food & Restaurant Show 2011. We passed by the line to get into the Gilt Warehouse sale. (It stretched to the end of the block.) There were tons of women and some men. Anyway, at the NYMT show, I felt a little too overwhelmed after I nearly trip over a kid and knocked over a sign, so I went towards Fifth Avenue to touch things and maybe buy something.

I stopped in Paper Presentation and spent a long time looking at paper products, stamps, pens, inks, flocking powder (!), glitters, ribbons, etc.

Then I stopped in at Zara. All the dresses I saw that were really nice pattern-wise, sucked material-wise. There's no way I'm going to pay for anything that's made out of viscose or polyester or nylon or crap like that. There were also a cute pair of shoes: pointy black in the front; faux-snakeskin party in in the back and had a nude-color ankle strap, but I couldn't imagine them being comfortable for more than the two minutes I had them on to see how cute they actually were on my feet. (Oddly the price in the store was more like $30. Maybe online shopping isn't all that great?)

Last stop was at J.Crew. I have a story about that for another day, which ends in buying booties and wedges. I love happy endings.

Jon and I met up with Dani and Hetal at MARKT for an mid-afternoon brunch. Brunch was tasty though kind of expensive for what it was, but I guess that's just how brunch always is. Then we went back to J.Crew for Dani to get a pair of wedges too cause they're just that cute. Hetal very bravely resisted any urge to buy anything.

Then we went to Eataly, which I've never been, to get fig sorbet and some grocery items for dinner. While Jon got some skirt steak, pasta, tomatoes, apples, and red cow cheese, which he turned into a delicious dinner the next day, Dani, Hetal, and I waited on line for gelato and sorbet. I got white peach sorbet, sweet milk gelato, and pistachio gelato. (It looked like the Italian flag since the white peach was kind of pink.) Unfortunately they ran out of the fig. Dani got mixed berry sorbet, and Hetal got the banana with chocolate chips. They were all so tasty. So, so tasty. We ate outside at some tables until the sun set. It was a lot of fun just hanging out without some predetermined activity of seeing something or doing something and reminded me of all the hours we used to spend whiling away the hours together when we were like twelve through eighteen. So many awesome hours without any pressure of doing something with our time. I think that's a really terrible part about growing up. We see our time now as valuable or something. Blah.

On Sunday, I woke up early and prepared to go to brunch (more like breakfast since we were meeting at 10:30) at MARKT again. It's not that MARKT is amazing or anything. It's just convenient, and on Saturday it was new. But, yeah, on Sunday morning it was just convenient. I wasn't in the brunch-talking kind of mood, though it was nice seeing Tina, Lina, and Cristina. It was an "-ina" bruncheon.

I then met up with my sister and aunt at P.J. Clarke's and we hung out in front of the reflecting pool thing at Lincoln Center until their "War Horse" play started. When I got home, I wanted to go back out, but it was nice being alone with Jon in a quiet apartment.

I painted my toes and cleaned my hair out of the drain this weekend too. Glug, glug, glug. Hair balls.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Day 41

roasted tomatoes and garlic, blue crab, and cheddar

"kitefish" with japanese flavors

"surf and turf," sprouts with bacon salt

kiwi uzumaki, scent amandine

jacques torres's ice-cream sandwich

Four Weddings . . .

Trying on bridesmaid dresses.
So this morning I got an e-mail from my dad's cousin, who said the worst thing possible. It's so bad that I have to dig it out of my trash folder because it just pissed off so much that she would've actually said it.

"It was the most fun wedding we have ever been to."

Considering that the wedding she's referring to is on the most terrible wedding show out there that COMPARES weddings and REWARDS the "best" wedding a "dream" honeymoon, I guess that's where her head is at. My cousin (my dad's half uncle's daughter's son) Cosimo and his wife Renee is on the TLC show Four Weddings tonight in case you're interested.

I Worked On This!


By Kees Moerbeek and illustrated by Chris Beatrice and Bruce Whatley
(Little Simon; ISBN: 9781416971467; October 2011; Fall catalog p. 226)
Huge, extravagantly designed and detailed pop-up illustrations for 10 classic cautionary tales showcase a trio of uncommon talents. Beatrice and Whatley collaborate seamlessly on the visuals, producing in traditional outdoor or rural settings a cast of realistic but broadly expressive animal figures. Many of these, particularly the wonderfully snarky-looking goose laying gold-foil eggs and the frantic, massive lion that lunges up at viewers through an entangling net as his spread opens, will elicit involuntary “Whoa”s of startled admiration. The fables, one per opening except for a miraculously un-crowded quintet gathered on the central spread, are paired to large central tableaux and smaller but only slightly less complex pop-ups in corner booklets. All are pithy versions of the usual Aesopian suspects written in a fluid, contemporary style (“You do indeed have a beautiful voice,” the fox assures the cheeseless crow, “but you don’t seem to have a brain!”) with some morals embedded and others laid out explicitly. Veteran paper engineer that he is, Moerbeek concocts ingeniously multilayered, interwoven constructions that are vulnerable to grabby little hands but, with careful supervision, sturdy enough to survive multiple shared readings. Timeless wisdom, splendidly decked out.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Day 40

Ever had one of those days when you feel like the world is against you because you've seen or read too many teen angst-y type things? Yeah. . . . I'm trying to not make this one of those blogs, so I'll talk about the best part about today:

Jon has one of those fancy new phones that has a webcam, so on his bike ride home he called me, and I saw his sweet face wrapped up in his helmet. We rode up West Side together, and he showed me the Intrepid (my favorite landmark--it's a tie with the Empire State Building, but that building has gotten a little too hoary for my taste lately). It was awesome. It was like riding on Jon's handlebar (at some unsafe speed to be actually riding on his handlebar in real life) while sitting on the sofa.

Also every day this week he's also made me a sandwich for lunch: mini brioche with capicola, smoked cheddar, and the baby fennel leaves. Mmm . . . lunch!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Day 39

I had an allergic reaction to acetaminophen last night. It closed up my throat a bit, and I coughed a lot. My throat was sore and itchy like an intensely gushing postnasal drip. It was kind of scary. I took some Benadryl and passed out. Then I woke up and took some more Benadryl and stayed mostly passed out for the night. All was well this morning except for a sore throat. Now I feel much better than I did twenty-four hours ago.

Tonight we had dinner with Joy and Adam at db Bistro Moderne. Joy used her savored registration to get the reservation. (30% off!! and it's discreet.) It was delicious (terrine, seasonal vegetables, lamb, veal ragout with handmade pasta, and a concord grape dessert), but I guess I'm still a little hungry because some chocolate ice cream would really hit the spot now. Hint, hint, Jon. (Jon went to get me some ice cream.)

During dinner Adam left the table momentarily and when he returned he told us that Steve Jobs passed away. It's sad. I'm going to miss his blue jeans and black turtle necks. Hopefully there will be someone out there that continues to try to make innovative/usable/nicely designed technology.

It's Tiffany's birthday today.

Chocolate ice cream!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Day 38

I used to have a great uncle named Giuseppe. At least I think that was his real name. He called himself Tony. When he first came to visit, I was maybe six or nine or somewhere in between. I remember bouncing to the door, thinking it was my grandma back from wherever she was. I peeked through the mailbox, and my blood ran cold. I was terrified and confused because I've never met my great uncle Tony before and he looked like the bum who roamed around our neighborhood. (My dad likes to call the bum "Mommy's boyfriend," as in my mom's boyfriend--not his mom's boyfriend.) I don't think my dad was expecting him either. But it was all sorted, and I remember playing school and writing a story for my siblings for "Reading class" about Uncle Tony's visit. He passed away earlier this year. He and my grandma's sister, Elisa, were married for more than fifty years. Till death and all. They lived on a farm near Naples with chickens and dogs and a handmade fountain that they built at some point. Uncle Tony smoked tons, even while needing to be on oxygen.

Anyway, this guy I worked with, Giuseppe, quit today, and that reminded me of the tidbit I had about my great uncle Tony.

After work I went home and watched multiple episodes of Awkward. Jon made these burgers. Mmmm . . .

Tidbit from Modernist Cuisine/Jon-ernist Cuisine: don't use binders (eggs/bread crumbs/etc.) in burgers--they inhibit good mouthfeel unless you like rubbery mouthfeel. The more loosely you pack it the juicier it is. Try it. Mouthfeel.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Weekend at Mr. and Mrs. Krisher

I went to the MoMA after work on Friday because it was free, just a few blocks north of work, and on the same street as my apartment. I walked through the sculpture garden outdoors, then up to the de Kooning exhibit. It was crowded.

His initial works reminded me of Miro, but then it became his more familiar works quickly.

Then there were a bunch of these kind of paintings that made me kind of anxious to be around. It felt like confusion and pain on canvass. I wondered if I should take a pill to calm myself down. It was hard to tell if it was the crowd or the paintings that were causing this. I vote the paintings since I've survived the McQueen exhibit crowds, which were much worse.

Then at some point I came across this painting: Weekend at Mr. and Mrs. Krishner, and I didn't feel as lost or anxious anymore. It looked like watercolor or Chinese calligraphy. It was simple because it was just black and white, but it evoked much of the same feelings complex feelings as his colorful pieces, because in the giant brushstroke you could see how much of the ink was applied from the brush--base to tip--more transparently than with his normal paint I think. It's like an X-ray. That gradient of one color and all that happens in between. There's air in the dried paint that adds texture and life to this piece.

The room with his final works (it's retrospective of his career so earliest works to latest) were so incredibly calm. And it seemed like he used a lot more white paint in these works. Though Weekend at Mr. and Mrs. Krishner was my favorite piece, this room seemed ethereal, especially compared to the more hectic/panic-inducing pieces earlier.

And then on the floor directly below of the de Kooning retrospective you have Seurat and Van Gogh and Picasso and the rest of the gang. And when looking at these pieces, as a casual neighbor stopping by to say hi and not as an anxious tourist who must take a photo of a masterpiece, it made me feel really lucky to be living so close to it all right now.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Wedding Advice XI

Oh, wow. Have you seen this site about wedding venues yet? It's pretty awesome.

On further inspection, it's like everything about planning a modern wedding without all the hysterics of weddingbee and is more detailed than magazine blogs/theknot. Check it out!

I'm not really certain how I got to this page: I was on my GoogleReader to see what Cup of Jo had to say this afternoon, then I clicked on Blue Hill and saw that we missed buying tickets for the Harvest Festival tomorrow. Then I noticed that they were renting out the Hay Barn for events and Google found a link that brought me to her site. Oh, the webs we weave.

Still, holy moly--$105,000 wedding at Blue Hill for about 150 guests?! Our rehearsal dinner there was about for eighty guests and wasn't as much as that--but I guess at least the Hay Barn is actually an option now, which is nice. (The only option we had was using the private dining area or shutting down the place for about $60,000.) Weddings are expensive.

In the meantime:

Jonathan:  little
you are already married man
 Sent at 4:11 PM on Friday

Yeah, but I have a big birthday coming up in a few years, and I need to keep my options open.

Day 37

Last night we went to Kajitsu for our monthly meal. Their theme for this month was chrysanthemums. It was pretty delicious as usual. The best dishes were an braised onion soup with mushrooms--the onion was so incredibly sweet--and the dessert mochi with fig filling--which was so lavish-tasting because the mochi tasted so fresh and melted in my mouth. The pictured dish was made from potatoes (shredded and some colored to look like chrysanthemums) with a chrysanthemum-shaped pasta, and had some edible flower petals, and mushrooms. It's a small dish, but it very successfully whets the appetite for the dishes to come. Oh, and his ginger rice dish always hits the spot. Mmm. . . .

It was my uncle's birthday yesterday--I completely forgot to call him. Happy birthday, Uncle Al!
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