Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hey, We're Ahead of North Korea!

Good news: our construction record is so much better than that of North Korea, whose main hotel is already 23 years late and still isn't finished!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Gods Smile On Us Again

Following up on our catsitter's post-Irene report that while we were sipping margaritas in Mexico, he was mopping water from the wall, I called the roofer yesterday to come look at this little leak. When he arrived this morning, the sky had already fallen. Turns out a tiny hole smaller than a dime was responsible for this massive destruction.

Roofer: You know, it was supposed to rain all day today, but the sun came out just long enough for me to repair that hole. I think maybe god is looking out for you!!

Me: [blink. Blink. Arch eyebrows. Deep inhale. Deep exhale Small smile.] I guess you could say that.

I mean, after all, given the amount of rain we had today, had the sun not come out, i suppose the whole house could have collapsed. Or it could have collapsed while my father was sleeping in the now destroyed bed that had been beneath it this weekend. He doesn't mind the couch - he can sleep standing up.

It's always good to look at the bright side.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Je suis chef!

This is what exhaustion looks like.

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Still The One

It always feels like home.

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

12 Hours in Seattle

Since I'm cleaning house, photographically speaking, i figured it's time to put up the last of the West Coast trip pictures.  After the lovely week spent visiting Portland and the rugged Washington Coast, we headed off to Whistler, Canada for a week of mountain biking camp.  I was too busy trying not to die to take many pictures of Whistler, and none of them are really worth posting here.  We ended our trip with a day in Seattle.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Anatomy of a Friday Night Shutdown Watch

4pm - Attend goodbye party for new work colleague (i barely knew ye!)
5:30pm - Send out last (?) emails, collect work i will do at home (just come and arrest me!)
6:30pm - Decline invites to continue goodbye bacchanalia due to lingering flu effects and responsibly head home sober and stone cold, as temps dropped at least 15 degrees from when i left house in tiny skirt - may as well be walking around naked from waist down.  Ooo, and now it's raining too - cold and wet, my favorite!
7:30pm - First Friday night alone in years.  Ask Scout for suggestions; decide self-administered tongue bath is intriguing from a gymnastic perspective but otherwise holds no real appeal for me.
8-9 pm - Replumb toilet and successfully stop tiny leak behind toilet that had potential to destroy entire floor.  Given how many toilets I have fixed, both here, at friends', relatives', restaurants...wonder if i shouldn't take up plumbing.
9:15pm - check news on shutdown.  Nada.  Think maybe i should eat something.
9:30pm - Hmm...leftover Chinese? Leftover Mexican?  Cereal?  Salad?  Oh look, here's that block of feta cheese i got to try as an experimental butternut squash-feta-hazelnut homemade ravioli recipe.'s going to expire next week...and there's the squash....
9:35pm - Cut open butternut squash and roast.  Look for something to eat.  Maybe the leftover Chinese.
9:45pm - Leftover Chinese terrible.  Not really hungry anyway.  Still trying to work off the 9 course extravaganza with wine pairing at Per Se, although 3-day influenza and bronchitis did most of the heavy lifting.
9:50 pm - Start making new homemade pasta recipe for ravioli dough.
10:15 pm  - No news on shutdown.  Hang out with friends...on Facebook.  Realize 95% of friends and relatives require advanced planning to visit.  Then realize seeing the friends i have here requires as much or more advanced planning to visit.  Start to feel very, very old, yet not old enough to live in retirement home where are your friends live down the hall like they did in college and you can count on everyone getting together to watch tv every night in the smoking lounge.  So now feel both old and not old enough.
10:45pm - Squash is done and cooled.  Start inventing recipe and try to document for blog.  Musical selection: Feist, The Reminder.  Because I'm feeling feisty.  Perpetual problems with taking photos without casting a shadow.  Discover standing on counter ameliorates this problem.  Realize I need new lens and really, a new camera.  And some indirect flash equipment.  If only I weren't about to be furloughed...
11:45pm - Squash formula perfected!  Time to roll out the pasta dough!!  Need happier music - Sufjan Stevens Illinoise!
12am - Don't like new pasta dough recipe at all.  Plus, should have kept it in fridge so it didn't dry out.  Make best of it.
12:15am - Check the news - have job!  Hooray!!  Oh wait, they gave away the farm.  Or the women's half, anyway.  Spend half hour reading analysis of the deal.  Democrats doing usual circular firing squad; Republicans win again.  Weep for women's rights; write angry FB status update.
12:45am - Back to ravioli.  Angry woman music selection/dedication to the Dems:  Aimee Mann I'm With Stupid.
1:45am Two dozen ravioli made...filling for ten dozen more.
2:15am - Clean kitchen.
3am - Still not tired.  Surf Netflix and find the bad romcom I watched half of on plane to somewhere is available as streaming video.  Woo hoo - can now watch other half!
4am - Happy ending!!  Time for bed!

11am, Next Morning - Wake up, still upset about budget deal.  Disgust with analysis in major newspapers - most of which essentially leave out entirely, minimize, or poo poo the continuing erosion of women's rights.  Et tu, Economist?!
12:30pm - Find what I think is tongue-in-cheek political commentary New York Review of Books' Poem of the Day (Remember everyone, it's National Poetry Month, so be sure to read a poem a day!!)
And so, I close, with Frederick Seidel's Evening Man (2008).  Learn more about Seidel's awesomeness here and here.

Evening Man

The man in bed with me this morning is myself, is me,
The sort of same-sex marriage New York State allows.
Both men believe in infidelity.
Both wish they could annul their marriage vows.
This afternoon I will become the Evening Man,
Who does the things most people only dream about.
He swims around his women like a swan, and spreads his fan.
You can't drink that much port and not have gout.
In point of fact, it is arthritis.
His drinking elbow aches, and he admits to this.
To be a candidate for higher office,
You have to practice drastic openness.
You have to practice looking like thin air
When you become the way you do not want to be,
An ancient head of ungrayed dark brown hair
That looks like dyed fur on a wrinkled monkey.
Of course, the real vacation we will take is where we're always headed.
Presidents have Air Force One to fly them there.
I run for office just to get my dark brown hair beheaded.
I wake up on a slab, beheaded, in a White House somewhere.
Evening Man sits signing bills in the Oval Office headless—
Every poem I write starts or ends like this.
His hands have been chopped off. He signs bills with the mess.
The country is in good hands. It ends like this.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Three Days in Barcelona

It's particularly dreary around here today, as it is pouring rain and I am on day 2 of a vicious flu.  In between bouts of unconsciousness, I decided to cheer myself up by finally going through the Barcelona pictures from last October's 3-day girls' weekend.

I've always wanted to visit Barcelona's sun-kissed shores, meander the winding streets of the Gothic Quarter, and discover for myself the culinary wonders I had heard everyone talk about.  But mostly, I wanted to see Antoni Gaudí's Casa Milà.  This is because about 15 years ago, when my mother asked what i would like for my birthday, i asked for a painting.  While trained as an architect, she's also a talented watercolorist, and since i couldn't afford to buy any art, i thought it would be great to have her paint something.  Inspiration being a funny thing, she was at the garden center shopping for a strawberry pot, when it occurred to her that the pot sort of looked like Gaudí's famous apartment building Casa Milà.  So she went to the library, checked out some books on Gaudí, and for my birthday, I received a Gaudiesque strawberry pot.