Saturday, December 29, 2007

back in brooklyn

I got home around midnight last night from spending Christmas in Austin. I couldn't believe that when I stepped out of JFK to get a cab, the air was easier for me to breathe than the air in Austin. I came back with a hacking allergy cough, but even though I woke up with the radiator heat headache this morning, I no longer had the hacking Austin cough. Ahhhh. It's good to be home.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

a snow falls in brooklyn

YAY!!! It's snowing!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

celeb sighting

Saw Dustin Hoffman yesterday near the 55th St. entrance to the NRQW station.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

waiting to go out

It's Friday evening, and I'm planning on heading out for a bit, but not until 11:30 or so. I have some time, so I thought that I'd try to catch up on the NY stories. The past couple of weeks have pretty much been work, work, work.

•The other night I was working late in the glass castle and saw the fat, ugly naked guy again strolling around his apt. I wonder if innocent neighbors ever see me in my apartment. YIKES!!!!

•I sometimes have a hard time remembering that the concrete jungle that I live in is actually coastal. Well, last week I was quickly reminded of that fact when on my way to the subway in the morning a HUGE seagull swept down over my head and landed right in front of me!! That thing was almost as big as Pico!!! I personally do not care for birds, and apparently they know this and torture me. They like to fly near me and nearly give me heart attacks! I hate birds!

•Last Sunday was the NYC Marathon. It's hard to describe the experience of watching thousands of runners from all over the world coming together. For years I never went out to watch the marathon, but my current apt is on the route, so all I have to do is walk downstairs or watch from my window. It's amazing! This year I decided to have a few people over to watch. We made breakfast tacos--the smell of coffee, bacon and eggs filled my apt. Delish! We took our food out to the street to see the wheelchair racers, then the first professional women, then the professional men go by. THEN the stream of regulars runners came through for the next couple of hours. It's so much fun to cheer everyone on and yell out their names. This year we seemed to get more of a reaction from the runners. I'm at mile 11, so they're not even half way yet, but I'd probably be dead at that point. I think Laura and I stood out there for at least 4 hours cheering everyone on. And Pico was actually good this year. Last year I had her out while watching the wheelchair racers go by, and we had to go in because she kept barking at them. So embarrassing! It's like having a kid!

•Oh, on Halloween I was leaving work and I saw Connie Chung and Maury Povich going to dinner (really them not costumed people) I think they were going to Patsy's on 56th between Broadway and 8th.

•For some reason, this Halloween my female friends and I all chose to be male costumes. I had actually decided that I was going to be a member of the Junior League for Halloween, but that idea seemed to be lost on most people. Then I spoke with Laura B and found out that Laura R was going to be Mystery--the Ultimate Pick Up Artist. AMAZING!!! That show was beyond belief (of course I saw every episode. AND my friend and I even had a guy try the moves on us at a bar, and , yes, I called him on it. He tried to act like he had no idea what I was talking about--whatevs! He had his avatar and was peacocking and everything. Anyway...) So, since Laura R was going to be Mystery I had to join in and be Kosmo, the cheese-wad that won the show. We were sooo ugly! But the greatest costume went to Laura B who was Larry the Cable Guy. (See below for pics.) Well, Larry and Kosmo decided they needed to run out to the deli, and the only people that appreciated our costumes were the cops that were hanging out inside.

Monday, November 5, 2007

too tired

I've been neglecting the blog. I'm very overworked and tired. Soooooo sleeeepy!!! And I have like one comment on all of my blogs. Is anyone reading these? (Ok, I get bitchy when I'm tired...)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

winter is coming

Not much has been going on here this past week, well, not much that would be of interest to others. Winter is well on its way, and I think I'm the only person in the tri-state area that is actually excited about this. I like the cold weather (within reason). I grew up wearing shorts on Christmas day and can count on one hand the number of times it snowed in Austin. I like wearing lots of layers, tights, boots, gloves, get the point. I, however, could do without the gray sky and rain that we've had all week.

I guess it's appropriate with the gloomy weather and all that last night I went to see Morrissey play at Hammerstein. I love Morrissey, and I've never thought of his music as all gloom and doom, but some songs do fit the bill. The show was AMAZING!!!! My only complaint is that I didn't get to hear some of my faves, but we would have been there all night if I had gotten my way. Here's the setlist that I copied from the website:

Intro: Klaus Nomi
Stop me
Billy Budd
All you need is me
Irish blood english heart
Shoplifters of the world
Gang lord
That's how people grow up
I just want to see the boy happy
Death of a disco dancer
The loop
Jack the ripper
Crashing boors
Please please please
Find out for yourself
Sister I'm a poet
Goodbye will be farewell
Throwing my arms around paris
Stretch out and wait
Life is a pigsty
How soon is now

First of the gang to die

Again, AMAZING!!! But here's my dream Morrissey show:
Alsatian Cousin
the boy racer
certain people I know
come back to Camden
Frankly, Mr. Shankly
Glamorous Glue
Golden lights
I don't mind if you forget me
the last of the famous international playboys
the national front disco
our frank
piccadilly palare
reader meets author
rush and a push...
sing your life
sweet and tender hooligan
this charming man
tony the pony
vicar in a tutu
you have killed me
you just haven't earned it yet baby

Ok, better get back to that damn book I'm designing...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

New York Cares

No, I'm not referencing Interpol, I'm talking about the volunteer organization here in NYC. Yesterday was New York Cares day. I was one of 6,000 or so volunteers to go to designated schools around the 5 boroughs and help paint, garden, etc. I've been trying to get more involved with helping out, but I wasn't expecting what I was thrown into.

My friend, Gloria, was in charge of one of the groups for the day. I knew I was going to have to trek to some school in the East New York section of Brooklyn. From all I know about this neighborhood (from the news, etc) is that there would be a good chance that I'd be shot on my way from the subway to the school, but to my surprise, the neighborhood was very well kept and clean. I was running a little late and missed to group of people who were walking as a group from the subway. It was about a 10-15 minute walk to the school, and I got a few, "Hey, Baby" comments, but I try to react with a laugh or at least an acknowledgment, especially when I am out of my element, and I've never had a problem. So, I make it to the school, check in, and wait for a bit. The vice principal of the school comes in to welcome us and explain the school. (what?) We had been told ahead of time to not bring bags and that our cell phones would have to be locked up, but I thought that maybe the rules were really strict. No, that was not the case. The school that we were assigned to is basically a prison!! It's a juvenile detention facility that is also a school. The kids live there, and their crimes range from very minor offenses to very serious ones. Ok.... We were told that they would be walking around the hallways, and to not acknowledge them.

I was put on the mural painting projects, so we were in the hallways of the school. It was rather claustrophobic because ALL doors were locked at ALL times. If we needed to get out of the hallway to go to the restroom or something, we had to be escorted by one of the teachers with keys to the doors. And as we were told, groups of the kids came by wearing their prison scrub outfits. They are escorted around by two teachers--one if front and one in back of the line the kids have to walk in. They have to walk with theier hands behind their backs as if they are cuffed. They look like they're in a chain gang. It was really sad because some of these kids looked like they were 12 years old!!!!

Later on I was transferred to a mural down in the girls' section. Right now there are only 9 girls at the facility. There are a ton of boys! Needless to say, it was a real eye-opener. While down there we were talking to one of the teachers who told us that the average stay at the facility is about 30 days, but there were some kids who had been there 2 years. And at one point, two security guards went racing through the hallway because something was up. The teachers told us to stand back, but laughed and said, "the kids can't behave for even one day?" I really admire these people who work with incarcerated kids (that's how they defined them). They all seemed to be the nicest, most genuine people, and they were so appreciative and thankful for our work.

It was an exhausting day, but it was really worth it!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Our team was mentioned on!!!

Texas Casserole Massacre...

that was the name of our team. Tonight Wendy and I entered the Casserole Cookoff here in Brooklyn. We tested two Texas-style recipes and ended up making the Mexican lasagna (of sorts). We didn't win, but it was still a good time. We got to test all 24 entries and are now filled with loads of cheese, cream and calories--most were pretty good, though (however, there was a fishy one that made me want to gag). Amazingly enough, the winner, Cheese Love, was a team of two guys. Their casserole was a delicious blend of pasta, cheese, spinach and spices. They not only won the Grand Prize, but also won the "Best Crust" category. It was yummy. There was also an interesting Korean casserole, a mole casserole, and a very good spinach and chorizo bake (I wish I had asked for the recipe). Even though we did not win, I still think our cass beat out the winner of the meat category. Theirs was a chicken blend with radishes on top. The chicken tasted like it had been frozen and reheated--blech! Whatever, I'm not a sore loser, but if you'd like to make Texas Casserole Massacre's delicious blend of goodness, here's the recipe:

•Sautee 2 cloves of garlic and half of a small onion in oil in a large skillet until brown.
•Add 1.5 lbs ground beef and 1t salt. Brown beef. Skim off fat
•Add to the beef, 2 cans of Rotel tomatoes, 2 8oz. cans tomato sauce, 1T chili powder, 1/4 t red pepper, 1/2 t black pepper, 1/4 t cumin. Mix and cook for 5 minutes.
•In bowl, mix 16 oz cottage cheese, 1 egg (beaten), and 1/3 cup shredded colby-jack cheese
•Lightly grease 9x13 casserole dish
•Layer 1/2 beef mixture, 6 corn tortillas cut into fourths, cheese mixture. Repeat.
•Top casserole with 1 3/4 cups of cheese and 1/2 cup sliced black olives.
•Bake at 350° for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly.
•Let stand 5-10 minutes and garnish with cilantro.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

This city won't break me!!!!!

Don't get me wrong, I love NYC. I've already left once and came back. BUT last night I had one of those nightmarish experiences, that if I were wavering, would have put me over the edge. I have been working nonstop on my book project, so I decided that it was ok to take a break and go out. I mean, it was Saturday night! Anyway, I left my apt a little after 10pm to meet up with a friend whose brother was in town. I had a birthday party to go to, but I wanted to meet my other friends first. My plan was to be at the bday party by midnight. Well, as I am waiting for my friends a drunken dude decides that he needs to talk to me and tell me how much I look like his half sister and how much he likes my hair and how I should never change it, etc. My friends show up and we go to a bar way over on the west side. All is fine until it hits 11:40 and I need to leave to get to the bday party which is ALL the way across the island on the lower east side. Ok, it shouldn't be a problem. I will just jump in a cab--yeah right!!! I leave and decide to go over one avenue to get a cab going in the direction I need to go--bad idea. I walk down a dark block next to a playground and there are at least 15 rats running around!!! I try walking in the street, but they are everywhere. blech!!!!! Then I get to the avenue, and traffic is at a standstill and there are no open cabs. Ok, I'll keep hour later I still have no cab and have walked sooo far--in heels!!! At this point I want to curl up in the fetal position, rock back and forth and cry. Mass transit would have been absolutely fine, but it was not an option for the two parts of town I was in. Finally a black car stops and I pay him $20 to take me from SoHo over the 3rd and Ave A. I didn't care because my feet hurt so bad, I had to pee, and I was tired. Ok, so I make it to the party by 1:00ish. I walk in and the place is absolutely packed with people doing some sort of flaming shot at the bar. I already want to kill someone and this wasn't helping. I grab a drink and try to find the bday girl. It's so crowded that I can't even walk or even begin to find her. Then some dude slams into me which makes me spill my drink all over the front of my new shirt. At this point I'm about to have a panic attack from being smashed against all of these people, so I decide to go downstairs to use the bathroom. I make it into the stall right after a chick has been in there puking. It smells terrible and I'm trying to not gag. There is puke all over the seat--"Get me the hell out of here!!!" is all I could think. I leave and trek up to 1st ave and 14th st to catch the L train. There's no way I'm going to deal with trying to get another cab. I am so incredibly frustrated at this point, and I know I had the biggest scowl on my face, but I didn't care. Luckily the train came quickly, and I made it home. I think I may need to go to a podiatrist.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Pico walk

Having a dog in NYC automatically ensures that one will attract FREAKS! But, also, just being out on the street means that I encounter all sorts of weird activity...
Last night I was walking my friends to the subway, and as we passed the deli, a drunk man spouting Polish speak stumbles out onto the street. His face was all red and he was a little too excited to see Pico. And Pico was just as excited to see him. I have no idea what he was saying, but he started karate chopping her on the back of her neck. I'm guessing it didn't hurt her, but needless to say, we got out of there ASAP.
Then tonight I'm taking Pico down the street and I notice a dog, not on a leash, running down the sidewalk. At first, I see no owner, but then notice the dog continually glancing to the street. The owner was cruising down the street on his segway with a big cig hanging out of his mouth. I mean, I'm hoping this man is injured or crippled or something, because how lazy can a person be?!! Isn't Brooklyn the fattest of all 5 boroughs?

Saturday, October 6, 2007

The bee on the L

So, this week I'm on my way to work. I often ride in the last car on the L train because it tends to be the least crowded. This day the car was not packed, but was somewhat crowded. I found a nice spot to standing next to one of the center poles. There was a man on the other side of the pole who was facing me. So, now that we have the set-up, here goes...
We hit 1st ave, the doors open, and the only thing to enter the car I was on, was a BEE!!! Now, I'm not afraid of bugs, I don't freak out when they're around, but I still don't want them on me. Well, I was wearing the new, French perfume that my brother got me in Paris for my bday, and the little bee must have liked it. I was listening to my ipod when I noticed the bee flying around my head. It was in my face; in my hair. I stood as still as I possibly could, pulled out my earphones, and asked me guy across from me if it was on me. He started swatting at the air and it flew off. At this point, most people in the area have noticed what's going on. The bee flies toward two people standing in the doorway. The girl ducks and moves out of its way. The guy is reading and is totally unaware that this beast is on the train. Well, the bee not only lands on him, but nestles into his long, stringy hair. He has no idea. Everyone is staring at him. I'm telling the girl next to him to tell him. (People don't usually talk on the subway) Finally the guy looks up because everyone is staring at him, so I yell out, "There's a bee in your hair." He starts swinging his nasty hair around, but the bee's not coming out (it's probably stuck). So the guy standing across from me goes and digs the bee out of his hair and it flies out. Now that the bee is loose, it starts flying all around again. Most customers leave the train at Union Square. I decided to get out here that day as well. As I left the train, I saw some guy trying to swat the bee with his magazine. Then he tried to guide it out of the car. I'm not sure what happened after that because I was well on my way uptown. But, yes, all of this happened before 10am and before my morning coffee--quiet a morning!


Hi there! People always tell me that I need to write down my stories--the things that happen to me in this insane city or the things I observe happening to others--so here I go. I don't know if I'm more aware of what's going on around me, or if weird things really do only happen to me, but I have some good stories. Check back often for the latest insanity.