Friday, March 30, 2012

The Jackpot Is Now $640 Million: Do You Have Your Ticket Ready?

Things can change a lot in one day . . .
like if you win the lottery.

For example,
this morning the pay phone ad that I walked by 
said $540 million.

This afternoon it said $640 million.


Six hundred forty million dollars!


Yesterday our tickets said the jackpot was $500 million. 
(Though it went up to $540 million by the end of the day.)

Jon and I have never bought lottery tickets before yesterday.
On my way home 
I handed a lady in a news stand booth 
all the cash in my wallet:
I asked Jon to buy $15 worth of tickets more near his office.
Spreading out where we got our tickets felt like a good idea.

Today, I bought another ticket with my last four quarters.
I thought it'd say $640 million, but it wasn't updated.
Just $540 million.

The lady told me with a sincere look in her eyes, "Good luck."
I said, "Thank you."

I think the best part of buying a lottery ticket
with a jackpot so big,
is that the possibilities of what you can do with all that money
seems infinite.
Infinity being so tangible feels awesome.

Now it's time to kick back and relax . . .
and hope we're hundred millionaires in a couple of hours.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Boobies on Showtime

After watching the first few episodes of Showtime's Homeland and House of Lies, the simple conclusion is that Showtime loves showing off boobs. Gratuitously. I'm not sure it makes the shows better or worse. (Maybe a bit awkward, depending on with whom you're watching them.)

Still while the pilot episode of Homeland had "gritty"/"realistic" scenes of nudity and sex, the pilot episode of House of Lies was just like a soft-core porn. While Homeland got better after the first few episodes, I just gave up on House of Lies after that first episode.

I love Kristen Bell, but I just didn't get House of Lies. Does anyone know if it gets better?

How do you feel about boobs or other nudity on TV shows?

(photo taken of a New Yorker cartoon)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I Love/Olive Oil Cake

I really wanted to make an olive oil cake,
so for a dinner we hosted to celebrate Carmina's birthday,
I made one.

The cake base gets really thick, 
but it's a really gorgeous color.
It smells amazing.

And instead of gobs of butter,
it's a 1/2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil for the fat.
Is it healthier?
I have no idea, 
but I'd like to think so.

The recipe doesn't say at first,
but you'll have to transfer and wash out your bowl/paddle of the base cake batter
to whip up the egg whites.
(Unless you have an extra bowl on hand.)

I had a mini cake pan that I'd never used.
I forgot what a mess it was to make cupcakes--
let alone mini cakes--
because of the scooping issue.
Then I remembered from my Cupcake Diaries books 
that the girls use an ice-cream scoop to divvy up the batter.
It kind of worked better than two spoons.

You'll want to use a really good extra-virgin olive oil.
Don't be cheap.
(They'd charge at least $5 to $12 for a dessert like this at a restaurant,
and do you know why the restaurant cake might taste better?
Because they didn't cheap out on the extra-virgin olive oil.)
Your main flavor is coming from the olive oil.

They looked a bit like bouchons.
And they tasted wonderful.

I used the Olive Oil Cake recipe from Mark Bittman's
(The "fluffy, moist" description won over the Mario Batali recipe in Molto Italiano.)

I felt like this was an easy cake to make,
and the results were much greater than my expectations!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ben Stiller

One of the more exciting things that happened last week was seeing Ben Stiller twice on my morning commute.

Last Tuesday, I saw a bunch of men, that at first glance looked like construction workers or day workers at least (since they didn't have the orange vests and helmets). Then I recognized Ben Stiller.

At that point, I had walked too fast past him to whip out my phone to take a photo to prove that I was at least five feet away from him. They were just hanging outside of the Time Life building, and on second glance looked like tourists.

(Also, I felt a little self-conscious because I felt like I kept catching his eye when I looked at him. Maybe I had an expression on my face that pegged me as a psycho.)

On Wednesday morning, the same thing happened, but this time, he had some more people with him. People that had really big white boards. Like drywall, but thinner. Again, I was totally unprepared to take a photo of him, so I didn't.

Then on Thursday morning, I was ready with my phone out and on the correct mode and all to take a very stealthy photo, but I didn't see him. I did however see my former coworker from Wiley, so that was interesting.

I gave up trying to capture Ben Stiller on my cell phone on Friday. Friday was just a such a gorgeous morning though. It felt like summer, but without the chance of it getting too hot and ruining the rest of the day.

But this Monday morning I came from a different direction, and saw a bunch of men, just standing in a kind of horizontal line, taking up the whole giant sidewalk. Freaking tourists, I thought. Then among them I saw Ben Stiller. I walked through the space that his camera was pointed at to get ahead of him, and then I stood at one of those middle of the sidewalk crosswalks across from Radio City, and took a quick photo of him. A nearby tourist was taking a photo of everything but Ben Stiller. Bizarre.

I think Ben Stiller and his entourage were scouting for another movie. Maybe Tower Heist 2 or something with all those towers around (though he seems enamored with the Time Life building), but hopefully, it'll be something really funny.

Friday, March 23, 2012

My Hour and a Half with Marilyn

Who would've thought that the saucy blonde from Dawson's Creek would have made it this far in her career?

:) -- Ooh! -- I wouldn't be too embarrassed about recommending this.

:/ -- Err. -- Maybe if you've got nothing else to watch at all.

:( -- What?! As in What is this garbage?!


I had no expectations for this film to be good or for Michelle Williams to actually be quite great, but it was good and she was quite great.

Overall: A young Englishman, Colin, with family connections, uses those connections to work on Laurence Olivier's movie with Marilyn Monroe. Colin proves to be brilliant at everything (he did write the books the movie is based on), and while Arthur Miller's in America, Colin becomes Marilyn's "big spoon" in bed for about a week. Marilyn's nuts and insecure, but she's also smart. Olivier can't figure out whether to love or hate her. Judi Dench is just adorable in this movie too. It's a movie about making a movie. And what's interesting is that even though Michelle Williams isn't exactly as adored or even entirely as new to show business as Marilyn was, I wondered if making this movie with these extremely seasoned foreign actors, by playing this role of such great expectations, she felt as much pressure personally as she portrays in being Marilyn. Also, the scenes of the countryside are so warm and beautiful. If only I could take my shoes off and walk around there!

Surprise: Hermione gets dumped by Colin! Ron apparates onto the set to save her dignity. (Kidding.)

Bradford Pear Trees Smell Like Poop! (or: Yay, Spring in the City!)

Spring has sprung!

I think these are Bradford Pear trees.

They look pretty, 
but boy, 
they just add to the smells of the horse/dog poop in my neighborhood!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hello, Strappy Flat Sandals!

The newest Zara opened last Thursday at 666 Fifth Avenue.

It's huge!
And I was on the hunt for sandals.

Ultimately, I would really love to wear cute shoes around the city
that are NOT flip-flops, Toms, Converse, Bensimons, or Birkenstocks,
or even my beloved Yosi Samras.

I think I was somewhat successful  
at finding some candidates.

Where do you go shoe shopping?

(images from

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring! Macarons! Polar Bear Slain by a Tulip!

Today is the first day of spring!
It is also Macaron Day!
(Thanks, Dani, for letting me know!)

Speaking of spring and macarons, 
in Paris, there was this window display at a baby clothing store
of "spring" (the tulips) killing and growing out of "winter" (the polar bear).
Morbid, huh?

Death and rebirth.
C'est la vie.
It's spring!

Monday, March 19, 2012

LES to Midtown West

Last Friday night we walked home after dinner from Kajitsu.

The weather was perfect;
my shoes didn't hurt;
it was the prettiest night to go strolling through the city.

So we started from Ninth Street between First Avenue and Avenue A.

We passed by Dessert Club,
where Jon noticed that if he were single and wanted to hit on
college-age Asian chicks,
it'd be a choice spot.
But that he'd probably be seen as gross and middle-age to them.
His pick-up line would be:
So, ladies, how do I join this dessert club?

We walked up Park Avenue,
because it was desolate and the sidewalks are huge,
but most of all to see the 3-D-looking 2-D sculptures.

Then we turned onto Fifty-Third Street
to head west until Tenth and Eleventh Avenues.

It took about an hour and a half,
which is about as long as my brother's time in the NYC half-marathon
that he ran on Sunday.

Friday, March 16, 2012


We're going to our last Masato Nishihara dinner tonight. Changes at Kajitsu are underway.

Some ideas for a breakfast-for-dinner dinner.

A waffle iron is required for these delicious sandwiches.

I need to make something like this for my wrist instead of the plain black band.

A new blog by a swell guy.

Do you know what a 3-D rectangle is called? For the 5- to 7-year-old readers in our book, we're using "box" for now.

I'm going to try to do this photo challenge in April. Who's with me?

Tiny Furniture Is Awful

Movie time!

:) -- Ooh! -- I wouldn't be too embarrassed about recommending this.

:/ -- Err. -- Maybe if you've got nothing else to watch at all.

:( -- What?! -- As in What is this garbage?!

Tiny Furniture

So I saw Judd Apatow's tweet about Girls, and I was like, well, if they're going to be putting this on HBO and it's an Apatow production, it can't be complete trash. I thought that maybe Lena Dunham's movie IS worth watching. But, no. No it's most definitely not. And I don't want to hear that I never told you so, because I just did. It's so bad. I'm telling you now so that you don't ever have to watch this movie. I made ramen during this movie and when I came back nothing had happened. My friend Pam said that she fast-forwarded through this movie trying to find something that happens. NOTHING DOES.

Overall: A fucking annoying kind-of-unattractive/overweight spoiled bitch, who throughout most of the film walks around in mostly a T-shirt and panties, just graduated college with a degree more worthless than whatever you or I got and is just such a terrible person. The best thing I can say about this movie is that it doesn't look like crap. Like visually. (Also, this is now part of the Criterion collection. What?!?) But that's like saying about a restaurant that the plating was nice--and that's the nicest thing you can say because everything just tasted like shit. You know what would've been so much better to watch? Actual attractive people with clean hair. Or maybe any kind of people with clean hair.

Surprise: She has sex. In. A. Construction. Tube. Thing.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Friday, March 9, 2012

Things to Eat and Stanley Turrentine

Just a quick roundup of the state of food in Manhattan from my Google Reader feed of Jon's stuff for me to read:

Though Acme remains the same in name, the space and cuisine is new. Jon and I ate there last week, so I hope to write about this soon. I'd go back when the menu changes, but OMG, why were the people there so douchey?

Our beloved, cute, affordable Italian place in the LES, Max, is moving to Brooklyn, so we'll probably never see it again unless it comes to visit us in Manhattan.

At least this pizza place that Dani and I went to last week (PizzArte) near work was delicious. Now to try their pasta!

Not a shocker, but it's a little surprising how fast it's closing: Romera is a goner. I've been meaning to write about our meal back in fall 2011 for months. Let's just say the best part of the meal was discovering this version of "Sunny" by Stanley Turrentine.

Wow, that's a great song!

Look at the most pretty sushi pieces ever here. Sushi Shop's prices are affordable too! Now to see if it tastes as good as it looks.

And here's another place on the new sushi to eat list: Neta. Though for full disclosure, I don't really remember our meal at Bar Masa except that it was ridiculously expensive, we had sake-flavored ice cream for dessert, and the table next to us had a douchey guy, a Knicks cheerleader, and her gay friend and none of them finished their sushi. Sacrilege! I remember being very tempted to eat their untouched sushi, but that would've been gross. Our sushi meal itself was kind of a blur since we ordered from the menu instead of getting an omakase.

Maybe this weekend, we'll take a walk up to Epicerie Boulud. (How good is the song on the website? The ocean waves at the beginning . . . I want to go to the beach.)

I'm looking forward to the longer days and eating al fresco. A snowless winter is bearable, but it's nothing like the long, warm days of summer.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

On the Beauty of Flats

I had a dream about green flats. 
They saved me or the world.
It was amazing.

But I bought these black ones instead.
My current black suede flats have worn soles.
If these flats fit well, 
they'll at least look appropriate at formal events
that I'm too lazy to wear heels to.

For warmer weather,
I wanted this pair.
But they ran out of my size.

So I got this pair.
The only size 7s they have left as of today are black.
I had a pair of red sandals before
that I wore down to sand and threads.
I hope these are a proper replacement.

I still got a pair of tan shoes though.
Jon kind of hates the holes.
He thinks I'll come home with little polka dots of dirt
from walking through the city's gritty streets.
We'll have to see.

These are due to ship a day after my birthday.
In June.
I saw a pig in Paris last month covered in leopard spots.
I really felt like I could relate.
If these don't fit, I need to find a nice pair, like these, that do.

They called Dorothy Parker, Dottie.

I hope they fit. 
It'll be marvelous.

*images from

Monday, March 5, 2012

It's a Nice Day for White Ranunculus

Just some ranunculus

to brighten up

this wintery Monday.

I got them from Trader Joe's 
on Saturday.

Their name comes from Late Latin for "little frog."


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pie Face!

After a pretty good dinner at the new Acme this past Tuesday, we stopped by Pie Face on 53rd and Broadway to use my free mini-savory-pie voucher that I got on the opening day.

We got the mini pear-and-ricotta pie and the mini beef pie. Each pie was about 1.5 bites or so, but the pastry was good and the fillings were very satisfying.

Sweet, but not too sweet. A hint of ricotta texture and flavor.
(Their dessert pies need faces.)

Salty, brown saucey, and meaty. 
Such a surly little pie face.

It all just happened so fast. I want more pies in my face!
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