Thursday, July 13, 2006

a deluxe apartment in the sky

or a deluxe blog on typepad, more accurately.
after almost six years on blogger, i've decided to make the migration to typepad. (particularly since my new work firewall has blocked blogger.)

here i am, come and read me:

(and if any of you have been so kind as to bookmark me, update the bookmark too!)

it's times like these that call to mind the heartfelt words* of Kermit and Fozzy:

Movin' right along in search of good times and good news,
With good friends, you can't lose,
This could become a habit.
Opportunity knocked once, let's reach out and grab it,
Together we'll nab it.
We'll hitch-hike, bus, or yellow cab it.

Movin' right along, foot-loose and fancy free.
Gettin' there is half the fun; come share it with me.
Movin' right along (doog-a-doon, doog-a-doon)
We'll learn to share the load.
We don't need a map to keep this show on the road.

Movin' right along we found a life on the highway,
And your way is my way, so trust my navigation.
California here we come, that pie-in-the-sky land.
Palm trees and warm sand, though sadly we just left Rhode Island.
Movin' right along, hey, L.A., where've you gone?
Send someone to fetch us, we're in Saskatchewan.
Movin' right along (doog-a-doon, doog-a-doon)
You take it, you know best.
Hey, I've never seen the sun come up in the West.

Movin' right along, we're truly birds of a feather,
We're in this together,
and you know where you're goin'.
Movie stars with flashy cars and life with the top down.
We're stormin' the big town.
Yeah! Storm is right, should it be snowin'?

Movin' right along, do I see signs of men?
Yeah, "welcome" on the same post that says "come back again."
Movin' right along, foot-loose and fancy free.
You're ready for the big time, is it ready for me?

Movin' right along
Movin' right along

* unsurprisingly, i've chosen a song that doesn't exactly, point for point, mirror the experience of moving from Blogger to Typepad. that said, it is an great song in its own right. and, while appropriate for enjoyable listening anytime, has an especially good tempo for the gym. i kid you not--this song + me on a bike = cardio awesome.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Day After

not exactly like the nuclear holocaust movie they made us watch in Junior High School:

but certainly devastating vis-à-vis my sanity.

i'm talking about the Day After the Wedding, folks, and the would-be brunch we're throwing for out-of-town guests. for our guests we were able to block out rooms at three hotels: two mid-range and one high-end (at bargain basement*--eye roll--prices ranging from $275/room to $410/room).

at the Doubletree, one of the mid-range options, we planned on having a day-after brunch. a leisurely affair, including a buffet and an omelet station and, mais oui, an assortment of breakfast meats (mmmm, bacon). as a bonus, the room was also somewhat non-hotel-y/non-conferencey, since it's on the 20th floor, has windows and even has a large terrace area. (in case our November weekend is unseasonably warm).

The Empire Room

however, when the contract from the Doubletree arrived by email, i noticed that the brunch was scheduled for 10am - 12pm. a mere two hours!!

this was much to my dismay since, as my colleague noted, brunch is *not* a meal to be rushed.
i immediately contacted the hotel to see about fixing this grievous error. i figured it would be a thirty-second phone call, followed by a minor contractual revision. ah, would that it were the case.
it was drama. apparently, the Doubletree Hotel is a union-run shop. which is fine by me--hell, i saw Norma Rae--go unions! somehow the union was dictating a two-hour brunch. this was *so* not ok with me. after much discussion, the catering manager was going to check with the union and see if the brunch could be extended to three hours. the next day, i got a message saying that three hours was a go. hip hip hooray? not so fast.

when i called to confirm and change one of the menu items, it seemed as if the brunch's third hour was going to get the red-headed stepchild treatment. i.e., no replenishment of food, cold coffee (gross!), etc. i was not thrilled.

at this point, Jennifer, my superduper wedding planner at the Wedding Library, intervened and phoned the Doubletree. i have no idea what conversation was had, but suffice it to say, the three hour brunch lives to see another day (hot coffee and all!), and i may actually sleep through the night...

* yes, i realize that $275 is not at all a bargain. even though we blocked our rooms about five minutes after getting engaged (back in December), these were the best prices we could find. hopefully the (once again) awesome brunch will ease the pain. a little. (ok, a very little).

Monday, July 10, 2006


...that's me!
since the weekend of the 4th and my (all-too-brief) escape from the city (with Lola and Ted), i've been doing a whole lot of activity but haven't had much time to document it. the weekend of the 4th was a bit of a disappointment, since my parents' pool was a) unheated and b) just filled, making for a chilly swimming environment. happily, the pool heater problem has since been fixed, so if i ever make it out there again this summer, i might be able to bear exposing myself to more than waist deep excursions... Lola and Thurston were braver, getting all the way into the deep end. the boys also got to play catch and whiffle ball and T got to eat a burger just the way he likes it-- scarily cooked.

the rest of the weekend was kind of beat as T had a cold. so i made some Thai Carrot Spicy Soup, which was quite awesome. (since i froze a bunch of it, it's also served as a delicious lunch this week).

we went to Lupa for his birthday dinner and then spent Independence Day gaining our freedom from clutter. (read, we cleaned out some of our closets.) does it get more exciting than that?
the true excitement though (and when is it not?) is born of all the wedding related balls i have been juggling. cakes and brunches and dresses--oh my! and that's just the easy stuff.

but aside from cake appointments this past weekend, we did get to a) see Superman Returns with Sam and Mark and b) have brunch with Evil and Mrs. A at O'Nieal's in Hoboken (where we got to sit outside and have outstanding burgers.* for some reason, i decided it made extra sense to drive to the movies on Saturday night. i was all, "it's Battery Park City--even if we have to park in a lot, it will be so much cheaper than cabs for both ways."
not only was parking *not* cheaper than cabs (cough-over $30-coughcough), it was not even that close to the theater. another one of my hare-brained schemes, go figure.

you might have thought i learned my lesson earlier that day, when, during a cake excursion to Brooklyn, we found a great new way to learn that the car's inspection is up:

because the A/C in our car is shot, we switched cars with my brother (who, on a cross-country road trip in my parents' other car, may or may not be aware of this transaction). in doing so, we neglected to notice that my brother did not get his car inspected as he ought to have done in June. so, yes, another "let's drive to save $" trip has (again) become more costly than a cab ride. hell, even a car service would have been more economical. yeah, driving in the city makes sense.
* yes, i am aware of the weight consequences of burgers and fries, but i also am aware of the me-consequences of burger deprivation. it ain't pretty...

Friday, June 30, 2006


i saw this sign up on 6th Avenue near 57th Street.

my question is this... how can you move into an apartment (or do anything, actually) sooner than immediately??

stupid billboards.

although the FreshDirect truck in the photo reminds me that i have a delivery of FD food coming today (between 6 and 8), which will help prepare me for my day of sun and BBQ tomorrow, out on Long Island.

Yep, T and i are heading out to check out my parents' newly relined pool, and enjoy some grilled food. i better start on the marinades, i think, since a variety of kabob-ready meat is on its way...

i also need to think about doing some lower intensity workouts. today, with my trainer, i was hella-weak and could barely do 120 lbs. on the leg press with both legs. normally, i can do 12o with each leg alone. pathetic!

swimming tomorrow should be more forgiving, bearing in mind that i'm not that strong swimmer.* sans, water wings, however, i will take to the deep and see what i can do.

not me.

then on Sunday, we're off to the Jerz to see Thurston's family. hopefully traffic won't kill us. and Monday is T's birthday, so birthday hijinx are surely in store. in any event, a surprise dinner is in store for him. the dinner itsself? not so much of a surprise since we generally do that everyday. but the location, unknown to T, will be the shocking part. i know it will disappoint him somewhat, but we aren't going to Pizzeria Uno a/k/a Uno's Chicago Grill. (only because they don't take resos, though).

* ok, this is *clearly* the funniest SNL skit ever (my dad and i both think so, so that's pretty authoritative). i do not know this Chris DiClerico, but i thank him for posting this clip. i pretty much die everytime i see it.

My Other Job

since i have been working part-time, i have picked up a sideline enterprise-- shopping. this is much to Thurston's dismay. indeed, as he has mentioned umpteen times thus far, i didn't make it 48-hours working part-time before i headed up to the outlets. (where i did, as Lola can attest, an excellent job).

that trip included stops and purchases at MaxStudio, Missoni, Banana Republic, American Apparel and JCrew. here is an (abbreviated) sampler of what i bought.

having honed my craft to some degree at the outlets, i proceeded to drag Thurston to start the wedding band search (we're talking finger-wear here, not ear candy). at the suggestion of wedding planners Farrell and Jennifer, T and i headed to Fragments in Soho on a very rainy Saturday.

in the past (specifically, my birthday last year), we had great success at Fragments, but we didn't plan on buying on this particular occasion. the trip was more of a reconnaissance mission. there weren't a ton of men's rings at Fragments, but there were a couple of contenders. i wasn't allowed to bring my camera with me (cough--strict T--cough) but we especially like a few brushed platinum bands, with some tooling/indented lines and also plain.

then yesterday, taking full advantage of my part-time schedule, i headed to the Fifth Avenue shops to explore more ring options. at Tiffany, i found some classic options:

plain platinum 4.5mm Lucida band

with milgraining

somehow, in my quest to find Thurston a ring, i managed to find a band contender for myself as well:

the Tiffany Legacy ring

aren't i efficient? i kind of love that band for me but, at the same time, my engagement ring has detailing on the sides:

so i wonder if it's a lame idea to block those details with a band that has plain, unblingy sides. i also suppose i could have the place that created the e-ring design a band of the same style, that would incorporate the e-ring band details, sans stone basket.

T thinks i should just switch my e-ring to my right hand once we're wed, but i kind of like the stacked look. do i switch? do i stack? do i customize a band?

and if i switch, then whatever do i do with my Trinity ring, which i currently wear on my right ring finger? and also happens to be the very first gift Thurston gave me, when we'd been dating just under 4 months. funny story there, actually. we were sitting around on the couch exchanging gifts and he hands me this small, square box (ring-sized, natch) wrapped in white paper with a red ribbon. now why i happen to immediately recognize this as Cartier ribbon is neither here nor there, but i do. and i will tell you this-- my first instinct was not "oh, my lord! how wonderful that he went hardcore posh with my gift." oh, no, i actually thought, "if he's proposing right now and bought the ring at Cartier rather than from a diamond dealer thus spending money on name brand rather than carats, i will kill him." aren't i just the sweetest girl ever? i bet you all are just dying to give my ingrate self a gift, no? anyway, it was *not* a proposal, but instead the symbolic trinity ring, which i LOVE.

however, all in all, i now am starting to realize the dangers T warned me about. all this free time is allowing me to go completely batshit insane. i literally just spent the last 1/2 hour photoshopping my e-ring to approximate how a band in its style would look. i think this is my cue to head to the gym. for an entirely different kind of torture and stress.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Wedding Wake-Up Call

much to my dismay, the following face appeared when i entered my weight into WeightWatchers' online "weight tracker" feature.

for those of you who are robots and, thus, unable to interpret emotions, that is *not* a happy face. that's right, Weight Watchers is not happy with my gain of +1 pound(s). now, to be fair, this weight gain is since December, when i had already lost 9 pounds on WW, and was the last time i was so brave as to enter my weight into the tracker. you see, the engagement and the holidays caused me to gain back most of the 10 lbs. i had already lost on WW, between September and December. slowly but surely, i have managed to re-lose all but 2 of those pounds. which would otherwise be impressive if not for the additional 20 lbs. that i need to lose on top of the first 10.

they do hold out hope for me, though, as the computer tried to take the sting out of its grouchy face with this oh-so-inspirational quote:
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."-
Eleanor Roosevelt

so now i embark upon my no holds barred weight loss regime. this involves much kicking of my ass on the part of Matt Hayes, and his intense "bridal boot camp" program. Matt used to be in the Army and does not f around when it comes to torturing me. in addition to the two to three times a week that he comes to train me, i am now on an everyday, no excuses workout program.

my week thus far and looking ahead:

  • Sunday: cardio combo: rowing and treadmill
  • Monday: obscenely difficult "homework" weight training (i.e. weight without Matt)
  • Tuesday: cardio combo: rowing
  • Wednesday: Matt and his bag of torture
  • Thursday: cardio
  • Friday: Matt again!
  • Saturday: more Matt...

and my diet? also, medieval.

yesterday, for example, i ate the following:

  • breakfast: Quaker Weight Control oatmeal (3 pts.)
  • lunch: Campbell's Select microwavable lentil soup (3.5 pts.) and 6 oz. of WW yogurt (1 pt.)
  • snack: Quaker rice cake with one wedge Laughing Cow Lite cheese (2 pts.)
  • dinner: Lean Cuisine Enchiladas Suiza (5 pts.)
  • dessert: Blue Bunny HealthSmart ice cream pop (0 pts.--miraculous!)

this is no fun at all. but since the wedding rapidly approaches, i need to focus up and stop screwing around. if anyone has *any* great diet tricks to share, i would greatly appreciate them. i am desperate!!

the non-existent snack

endowed with some kind of mystical powers, the Blue Bunny ice cream bar i just ate somehow has zero Weight Watchers points.

i really don't want to know how something so tasty can remain almost calorie free. i'm sure it has something to do with science and/or black magic.
but as i try so desperately to embrace the wedding weight loss, i'll take zero-points items anywhere i can get them.
eat first, ask questions later.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

always a wedding guest...

...almost a bride.

this past weekend, Thurston and i attended (yet) another wedding. this time it was Magnolia and Scott--the couple to whom we entirely owe our happiness, in that T and i met at Mags' birthday. (since i've already used my wedding channel page for the exhaustive summary of how we met, i'll not rehash it here. you can all breathe your collective sighs of relief now!)

the night before the wedding, they did their rehearsal dinner at Maroon's, a Jamaican/Southern restaurant in Chelsea, and then drinks after at Woody McHale's, on 14th Street. although T and i weren't at the rehearsal dinner, we had dinner with another couple of wedding guests (at good, which is, well, good) and did meet up for the drinks thereafter. for better or for worse*, i started my drinking with the impressive array of fun cocktails at good (Pisco Sours, specifically) so was in high spirits when we walked over the Woody McHale's.

when we got there, lo and behold, i recognized the bouncer at the door. indeed, it was Clay, my old pal from when i worked at the-now-defunct-Life nightclub (see #23 on this page), formerly of Bleecker Street. while i was working at Life in my first post-college full-time job, Clay worked security there. honestly, we had the best security guys, and i loved working with 99% of them. sure, they used to tease me over the walkie-talkie (anointing me with the handle "Project Booty" or "Ghetto Booty" and calling me "Hooks" are just a couple of examples) but they always looked out for me and they were a blast to work with. i can say without question, that i will never again work with such a colorful cast of characters. anyway, back to the subject, it was great to see Clay and catch up and also great to see the bride and groom, pre-wedding.

the next morning, after getting my ass handed to me by Trainer Matt, i found out that my sister--coming in from Cali for the wedding--has overslept and missed her plane. despite intellectually realizing that this situation was out of my control, i proceeded to freak out completely, since the control freak in me could not adjust to the idea that there was literally *nothing* i could do to get her here more quickly.
  • the wedding was called for 7 p.m.
  • her original, dearly departed, flight was scheduled to land at Kennedy (Kennedy!! the Van Wyck!! the traffic!!) at 3:30 p.m.
  • the new flight would land at 5:20 p.m.
this scared the bejesus out of me but i tried to relax and, with the help of JadedDad, arranged for a car service to be waiting for her at the baggage claim so she could at least save a minute or two by not waiting in the taxi line.

trying my bestest to be zen, i went for my pre-dress up manicure/pedicure. there was some drama as my "kit" (read: the VCR box where they keep my personal file, buffer, top coat, etc.) was missing! finally it was located, thankfully, as i had not brought my own polish with me and planned on using the one i kept at the salon. (although this may not be a big deal to some, to me, it was a horror. anyone who downplays this clearly doesn't take their nail care nearly seriously enough).

when i got home to start getting ready, CaliSister called and told me she had landed and was in the car en route. it was 5:40 at this point. she walked into the apartment at about 6:20, did the quickest freshen-up-and-change ever, and we got to Bryant Park Grill, where the wedding was about to begin. (this wasn't one of those weddings where it's called for 7 o'clock but actually begins at 7:30. it was starting promptly.)

a still slightly stressed me + my perennially calm sister

we were seated just in time for the nuptials! which were touching and amazing. and the vows--oh boy, they were incredibly well written and delivered with such genuine emotion that it just filled my heart with joy. and i am *so* not the kind of girl to get joyful on a lark. i am usually all about the cynicism. but really, these two are so in love and so happy, even my cold, black heart was moved. did i mention how bee-yoo-tiful the bride was? see for yourselves:

the ceremony and cocktails were on the roof, where the weather was definitely warm, but not unbearable.

please note T's expertly (ahem) tied bow-tie.

the cocktails portion had a crudités station, as well as passed hors d'oeuvres including pastry-wrapped salmon, half-hamburgers, pigs-in-blankets, mini-goat cheese/veg tarts, beef satay skewers, sushi rolls and probably other stuff that i'm forgetting. Thurston being a non-aggressive hors d'oeuvres grabber, i enlisted Tyrone to help me snag the coveted burgers.

this is what Tyrone looks like when the burgers are all gone.

once the hors d'oeuvres were exhausted, it was time to head downstairs to the dinner/dance portion of the evening. our table was in a prime location-- right next to the dance floor and the cake!
instead of one cake, they had tiered cupcakes, but with a single layer of regular cake for the cake-cutting (très forward-thinking, no?)

the tables were simple and lovely:

forgive the askew knife--i managed to do that within five seconds of getting to the table.

and the band! i have to find out the name of this band that kept all people on the floor the entire night despite the warm weather (that somehow crept inside). warmth notwithstanding, everyone was dancing like it was their job (if one's job was a job one enjoyed, while also not being particularly lucrative) and it was a great time. Thurston even cut a rug with the groom's mom, who called him out in a manner not unlike the one The Boss used to get Courtney Cox up on the stage with him in for his Dancing in the Dark video.

except Thurston looked somewhat less winsome.

all-in-all the wedding was a success! the food was (shockingly) delicious. i note this because, so often, wedding food is nothing to write home about. Thurston and i both ordered filets, which were perfectly cooked, mine being exactly rare** as per my request and not some b.s. medium-rare substitute. and the fries that accompanied them were awesome! even my vegetarian sister (and don't even get me started on how this pains me) loved her ravioli option. (the third option was crab cakes, which looked like they would have been good, based on my observation of others eating them).

now the newlyweds are in Thailand, where i am sure they are having more fun than i am, as i stress the f out over planning my honeymoon. thus far, i have even designed a spreadsheet for that purpose. (i thank part-time work for allowing me enough time to become super-OCD.)

* oh, you have to just love that wedding-related humor.
** i really find it hard to talk about how T likes his steaks. it hurts me to think of those poor, little steaks, on the flame for so very long before they are cooked to T's liking. last night, at
Bobby Van's with the JadedParents, he actually whispered his order to the waiter, so as not to upset my delicate sensibilities. (isn't he the sweetest?)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

America's Got Talent/American Juniors

ok, i'll readily admit that my taste in TV is questionable, at best. during the summer--even more so. back in the day (the days of 2003, to be specific), i watched a FOX summer program called American Juniors, whereby America got to vote five kids into* an all-kids singing/dancing/being adorable group, aptly named "American Juniors." (i am sure that Thurston is thrilled that this show aired prior to us meeting, allowing him to dodge the bullet of watching it...)

the group consisted of Taylor, Danielle, Tori (Taylor's sister), Chauncey and Lucy (at least those are the names i remember).

but there was a less moppety-cute girl on the show, who was a quite a singer. that girl was Chantal Kohl. sure, sometimes judge Debbie Gibson thought she was dressed a little too maturely, but Chantal was pretty good. she did not get picked for the group, which is why i was not that surprised to see her on another awesome(ly horrible) show last night:
America's Got Talent.

however, as it turns out, the girl on last night's show was actually named Alexis (i don't recall her last name) and just happened to be Chantal's doppelgänger.
although the AGT web site has yet to update photos of its "talent", i have found this clip of Alexis singing Whitney, natch. (why do all reality singers pick Whitney???) and she looks *just like* Chantal:

as soon as i get an Alexis pic, i will do a side-by-side and you will see that strange things are afoot at the Circle K.
* see how they flipped the Idol formula on its head? noone got voted *out* here. just voted *in*. it's so different!

Friday, June 16, 2006

One Degree of Kevin Bacon

clearly, because i promised my first part-time day would bring excitement, the stars aligned for me. at around 7:20 last night, Thurston and i ran out to grab a cab (he, too, was having dinner in the East Village, although separately). as we saw occupied cab after occupied cab go by at the corner of 8th Street and University, T spied a cab that had just pulled over and flashed on its "vacant" light.

we waited next to the cab for the passenger to vacate and when he did, lo and behold, it was a scruffy (but still handsome) Kevin Bacon, sporting jeans and putting on a baseball cap disguise.
if you think the excitement stops there, you'd be entirely wrong. *then* our cab driver proceeds to tell us that he told Kevin Bacon a story about a dream he had. in this dream, our cab driver was looking into an antique mirror, but it was blocked by smoke. when the smoke cleared, he was looking at himself, yet he was dressed in full Civil War battle uniform, including a hat with two crossed swords.

we asked him which side he was on and we were happy to hear that it was the Union. then T asked him if he had been watching the History Channel or some such Civil War stuff prior to going to sleep. apparently, Kevin Bacon had asked him the same thing, confirming what i have long believed--that T and KB, as i will now call him, are kindred spirits. (truth be told, T does have some Footloose-quality moves, as Dr. Sexy and Mrs. Dr. can attest, having seen some of the same at their wedding.)

as it turned out, our cabbie had *not* been watching the History CHannel and was not any type of Civil War buff. he then began searching on the Internet for uniforms that resembled his. somehow or another, he came across this guy:

Charles Hamlin, son of Hannibal Hamlin who was Lincoln's VP, and i tell you this without kidding, Charles Hamlin is the *spitting image* of my taxi driver. (who was clean-shaven, however). weird!!

then i went to Lavagna with the girls and had a lovely dinner. for some reason, i forgot to have a cocktail. well, as *my* Civil War hero once said:

After all, tomorrow is another day.