Five things I really, really miss about my home state of NY. 

1) It is the kind of place where state senators have secret meetings to change allegiance from one party to another and STILL claim that they are a member of the party they just screwed over.

2) It is the kind of place where once the senators have changed the power structure of the senate the now minority group grinds everything to a halt to try to prevent what has already happened from happening.

3) It is the kind of place where the senators do a political version of taking their ball and going home and literally, yes literally, lock the door and refuse to work until they get their way.

4) It is the kind of place where someone stands in front of news camera’s dangling a key to the state legislature but does not use it.

5) It is the kind of place where all of this is considered perfectly normal, business as usual and really, just another day at the office.  Or, standing out on the lawn refusing to go to the office. 

*If you want to hear actual facts about this story, you can listen here

Lets play ball…

June 1, 2009

Last week D and I visited our good friend B&C in Chicago.  Among the many awesome activities they planned for us (whirly ball anyone) we went to watch a Cubs game at Wrigly.  Here were five highlights.

1) Our seats.  Yup, we sat here: (and this photo was taken with a crappy iphone camera)

photo[1]

2) Our neighbors.  When you sit 8 rows behind home plate you get to meet a lot of interesting people.  That guy in the tan hat and jacket was just one of the many scouts* at the game keeping stats and measuring fast balls with one of those guns you see in movies like Major League.**

3) Our entertainment.  Strait from ESPN, and courtesy of YouTube, here is Mr. T throwing out the first pitch and singing Take Me Out to the Ball Game.

4) Our favorite good Samaritan.  There was this adorable little kid with his dad a row in front of us who must have spent the first 5 innings begging for an enormous bag of cotton candy.  By the 7th inning stretch his dad relented and he got it.  Five bites into the bag the kid realizes that much sugar may in fact kill him, so he decides to share.  He opens his bag and walks up and down the row asking perfect strangers if they want any.  His kindness and general awesomeness was rewarded my Mr. T who happily signed his glove and took lots of pictures.

5) Our dinner:  beer and popcorn and peanuts and ice cream and beer.  Life just does not get any better. 

*I was shocked to see how friendly and cool the scouts were.  After they got their first few readings they pretty much passed around the gun and let their whole row give it a try.  How cool is that?

** I happen to think Major League was a good move.  Judge away.

I have written about him…and you have read about him.  But until now, you have never really met him.  Here is a guest post from my husband, D. 

Since sara is off “working” in Hawaii for the next week (tough life), its time for ‘D’ to step in with a guest blog titled:

 Lines that sound good or harmless unless said by your girlfriend/ wife.

 “Let’s have a chat (or talk)”

-Typical meaning:  Light conversation with friends, usually involves laughter and drinks.

-Real meaning:  You better sit down and clear your schedule for the night cause this one could take a while.  No food, no drinks, just you staring at the ceiling with many head nods.  These chats or talks usually end with the male saying, “well that’s just the way I was born” because you are left with no other explanations for your inappropriate behavior.

 “You do whatever you want”

-Typical meaning:  You have total freedom to choose to your liking.

-Real meaning:  You have no choice as it has already been decided for you.  You are just hearing this because you picked the wrong choice.  Cover up your wrong choice by just saying you were joking around and of course you would like too (insert correct choice here).

 “I don’t care either way”

-Typical meaning:  Its your choice.

-Real meaning:  This is very similar to the aforementioned line with one exception, you still have a chance to pick the correct choice.  You can go with two routes, pick the unappealing choice or go with your gut and get ready to battle it out.  Just know that this could lead to the “lets have a talk” line a couple of days down the road.

 “I’m not mad”

-Typical meaning:  Everything is cool and life is good.

-Real meaning:  Life is not good, she is really pissed and has probably been mad for 2 straight weeks now.   Good luck with finding out what she is mad about as that question is usually answered with this next doozy….

 “It’s fine”

-Typical meaning:  proceed as normal.

-Real meaning:  it is completely and entirely not fine.  It’s the complete opposite of fine (bad and poor according to Webster’s)  This means you did something really really bad and it’s too late to reconcile.  There is no hope with this one as this is the granddaddy of them all.   No matter how many times you ask or repeat the question, you will get the same answer…”its fine”.  There is no living male that can get past this line.

 What else did I forget?  Even seeing these terms in writing made me flinch a bit. 

thanks for having me,

-D

 

 

“Let me entertain you”

December 22, 2008

I am probably not the worlds best hostess.  This is partially due to having a mother who was born to entertain (gives me the shakes) and partially due to living in a very cool, but very small apartment (only three people can sit at the table at a time).  But, the new house will have plenty of entertaining space so I am trying to learn all I can about how to properly host a party.  Here are five bits I picked up at a fabulous event this weekend. 

1) Serve some sort of signature drink in a  fancy glass.  Do not tell anyone what is in it.  Make sure there is a lot of alcohol and refill glasses when no one is looking.

2) Do not freak out when some of said signature dink ends up on your Persian rug.  Laugh like this happens all the time and slyly sneak in under the coffee table to use your magic cleaning liquid when no one is looking.

3) Set up the food in lots of small rooms and intimate spaces.  This encourages conversation and allows your guests to talk about each other while being at the same event.  “Is she really wearing those shoes” or “apparently they have been living together for months” is a sign that the conversing is going really, really well.

4) Serve good food.  Make sure that some of the food requires an explanation.  Why is the caviar and creme  fresh next to the pizza?  It is a topping?  Oh, of course.*   A cheese tray with no less than 8 varieties of cheese is a good place to start. 

5) Wait until everyone is half (or fully) in the bag and start telling stories about your neighbors.  Throw in one about the guy across the street getting caught ‘pleasuring’ the next door neighbors husband.  Make sure to mix up the pro-nouns a few times to keep people guessing.  This will keep them talking about your party for years to come! 

*side note, potato pizza with creme fresh and cavier is actually quite delicious.  Ihave asked for the recipe and am happy to share it with anyone who is interested.

My favorite way to eat left over turkey and one of my all time favorite sandwiches

sand

turkey

avocado (apx 1/4 per sandwich)

lettuce

tomato

bread, any kind you like

Pile it on and ad salt and pepper as you wish.  It can get a little messy so I suggest a few napkins. Enjoy!

Alaska

October 30, 2008

FIve things about Alaska… most of them are overly obvious.

1) It is far…at least if you live anywhere on the east coast it is far. Like, 15 solid hours from my door to my hotel room with no layover. And trust me, with the flight I had, I I felt every minute of those 15 hours.

2) It is cold. Like really, really cold. Like your eye balls start to freeze and you wonder what will happen if they get stuck that way cold.

3) The cold does not seem to bother anyone who lives there. I brought my best Northface jacket, mittens and wool sweaters and I wore all of them…all the time. I even considered wearing the mittens to bed one night. (I know…thats hot). Some of the locals left the airport in flip flop and SHORTS! Apparently 27 degrees with no light and a strong wind is their balmy fall season.

4) It is take -your-breath-away beautiful. The sun peaks over the mountains late in the morning and the light filters over the valley. In the afternoon the snow kissed peaks glow from the late day sun and whole sky flushes pink and blue. If it was not so freaking cold, I would have spent all my time gazing and the view which don’t imagine ever gets old.

(The taller building of the 2 on the right is was my hotel, the top floor has a resturant that overlooks the inlet and Mt McKinley and is where I enjoyed a delicious 5 course meal watching the sun set. It was amazing)

5) The people are amazingly nice. I grew up in NY so when I think of moving through a city I put my head down, walk strait and fast and become irritated when a cabby blocks an intersection. The city of Anchorage has a completely different tempo. People stroll, and talk and dare to stop and look in a window. While crossing a street I happened to drop a mitten. Not one but TWO cars stopped and honked to point it out to me and by the time I turned to get it a complete stranger had picked it up and changed his direction to give it to me. These are either the nicest people on the planet or they are tired of weak tourists flooding their emergency rooms with frostbitten hands due to dropped mittens.

This weekend D and I are heading to VT with some friends to get away for a few days and enjoy the fall foliage.  With the cooler night air and the sight of leaves turning color I thought I would share a recipe for one of my favorite fall beverages. 

             

2 quarts (8 cups) apple juice*

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

6 whole cloves

3 cinnamon sticks, broken into 1 inch pieces

1 cup rum

In a large saucepan combine first four ingredients.  Bring to boil and reduce to simmer for 20 minutes.  Strain to remove pieces.  Add rum and serve warm with a cinnamon stick in each glass. 

Note: You can omit the rum if you are planning on serving this to kids, or keep the rum and figure they will sleep really well that night.  (I do not have kids of my own so please, do not feel like you need to report me to child protective services)

* you can use whatever apple juice you want, but I find the better the juice the better your final product will be, fresh cider would be the best.

So what could possibly be the first thing?  Recently I have had e-mail requests to do a posting of my top five something.   To keep track of these requests, and to keep me honest, I have added a new page to my blog called “Ok, so what is your top five…?”.  If you would like me to post my top five anything, click on that page and leave your request as a comment and I will do a posting as soon as I can.  This is great opportunity for all of you who have been reading my blog (thank you for that by the way) and have not commented to let me know who you are and what you want to know about me.  Which brings me to the second thing. 

Beer. 

Mr. 5280 recently suggested I do a posting on my five favorite beers.  I immediately responded, “no way, too hard”.  But in the spirit of wanting to honer the top five requests I am going to give it my best shot.  In alphabetical order. 

Carlsberg – German style Pilsner

Why I like it –  It is a great all year beer.  It feels cozy when it is cool out and refreshing when it is warm out.  It is light with out being bland and has a good full flavor.

Why I really like it– In 2001 I lived in London for a time.  The Brits take their pubs really seriously and always have great stuff on tap.  Carlsburg quickly became my go-to beverage of choice  and whenever I drink it I think of living overseas and the easy comfort and laughter that fills local pubs. 

Hoegaarden – A White Beer

Why I like it –  A classic Begin white, reliably good (and amazingly still made in Belgium). 

Why I really like it –  It comes in a cool glass, and the only thing better than good beer is good beer in a cool glass.  Also, D may not remember this but he ordered a Hoegaarden the night we met and I remember thinking he seemed so mature, so worldly, so…old.

Red Stripe– A Lager

Why I like it – A great import beer.  A nice bite.

Why I really like it –  The year I graduated college my parents took my brother and I on a Caribbean cruise.  It was the last time the four of us really traveled as the four of us and when I think of the trip I think of sitting with my brother, laughing at his jokes and poking fun at my father with a bottle of red stripe in hand.  I don’t care where it is bottled*, it makes me think of vacations and sunshine and laughter and my family and I love that.

Sam Adams Octoberfest – Marzen / Oktoberfest 

Why I like it – A great fall beer with nice earthy flavors.  A little heavier for the cooler months and different every year. 

Why I really like it –  My senior year in college my friend C and I went down to Newport for Octoberfest.  We walked around the tents and the stalls wearing woven wool sweaters and holding pints of Octoberfest in our hands.  The sun was shining and the air was cool and looking back; it is one of my fondest college memories.  Every time I order Octoberfest I think of that day and of our friendship and I am happy.  (C might have a different memory of that day as she paid a slightly higher price for us blowing off what we should have been doing to go drink.  But that is her story to tell, not mine)

Summer Shandy – American Pale Wheat Ale

Why I like it – It is an interesting brew and has that nice lemon taste with out any of the sweetness that usually accompanies ‘flavored beer’.  It is a fun local brew and it is a pain to get, so I really enjoy it when I can.

Why I really like it –  The first time I had Summer Shandy it was on a bar patio in downtown Madison, Wisconsin (one of my favorite ‘middle’ cities).  The beer was cold and delicious as were the cheese curds and we ate and drank and laughed and drank in the sunshine for hours**.  I love the beer because of the way it tastes but also because it reminds me of how good it feels to be with friends anywhere, anytime. 

* The ‘Lite’ Red Stripe is apparently brewed in Jamaica but bottled in Stamford, CT.  

**perhaps we drank for too many hours as it was one of those days where you wake up with unexplained bruises and sore muscles you did not even know you had.  But, maybe that was from the Long Island Ice Teas we drank from mason jars…yes, mason jars.  One of the many reasons Madison is great.

What are your favorite beers?  Why do you really like them?

Tag, I’m it.

August 27, 2008

Last week my bloggy friend Le Petite Belle tagged me with this meme.  It is not a list of five… but it seems fun so here goes. 

A. Attached or Single? Attached

B. Best Friend?  Of course.

C. Cake or pie? Cake.  Big fluffy cake with lots of frosting.

D. Day of choice? Thursdays.

E. Essential item? lip balm

F. Favorite color? corn flower blue

G. Gummy bears or worms? Bears, but they have to be Haribo

H. Hometown? New York, which I realize is a state and not a town.

I. Favorite indulgence? Really nice wine and a pedicure every other Thursday.

J. January or July? Hmm, tough choice.  Probably July. 

K. Kids? None that I know of.

L. Life isn’t complete without? Fresh air.

M. Marriage date? October 7th.

N. Number of brothers and sisters? 1 brother.

O. Oranges or Apples? Gala apples, they are the best.

P. Phobias? Bug infestations, fires, not being able to get enough oxygen. 

Q. Quotes?“I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I do not believe I deserved my friends”

R. Reasons to smile? The sun is out, the air is clear and I am surrounded by people who love me in spite of my many flaws.

S. Season of choice? Fall.

T. Tag 5 people: Elizabeth, MikeHallie, Jeanie, and anyone else who wants to give it a shot.  

U. Unknown fact about me? I am a published author; in the second grade my haiku was chosen to be in the local paper.  I don’t remember much but I know the last line was “I touch the wet green grass”  apparently that is skilled writing for a 2nd grader. 

V. Vegetable? All!  I love veggies.

W. Worst habit? Going to sleep when I am upset or angry rather than dealing with the problem.  Oh yeah, and I might drink too much. 

X. X-ray or Ultrasound? This is a really random question.  X-ray’s I guess? 

Y. Your favorite food? I really like any kind of ethnic food; Indian, Thai, Japanese, Italian, Mexican, Greek.  I once had Nepalese food which was excellent. 

Z. Zodiac sign? Capricorn.

Sharing is Caring

August 18, 2008

I first found La Petite Bella when she commented on another blog I read.  It was one of those times when someone says exactly what you are thinking and all the sudden you feel a lot less alone.  We started e-mailing and it turns out we have a lot in common  including a very similar sense of humor.  As I have said before;her perspective on life, love, marriage and the world around her never cease to amaze me.  Go check out her blog, you will not be disappointed. 

 

Sara makes me want to share. She’s the kind of person that you feel so comfortable with, that you reveal more information about you that you initially intended, only to feel absolutely comfortable with the idea of opening up to her once you know her better.

Unless of course she really is a middle-aged man sitting on his couch pretending to enjoy writing things in fives and telling people his name is Sara.

But anyway, in honor of how Sara makes me reveal information with her comforting spell, here are five things that you don’t know about me, that I should probably keep to myself because of their embarrassing nature.

  1. When I was about to get my first kiss at 12, as I was closing my eyes and starting to pout, I changed my mind. I ran to the door of the room where I was, with my eyes still closed, and of course did not get far because I ran into the wall. I ended up with a huge bump on my forehead, and the guy I was trying to run away from helped me get up. He obviously did not try to kiss me again.
  2. I have a slightly unhealthy addiction to underwear. Pretty underwear. But it’s underwear, nonetheless. Why would I spend so much money on pieces of clothing that only my husband sees? ha! because when I am home, I like to walk around in it. All the time. (my husband constantly complains about this, since there are a few windows in our house with open curtains.)
  3. In middle school I used to do bad things in school on purpose so I could get detention and hang out with the bad boy I had a crush on, who lived in detention. (he was also like 5 years older than me, because clearly I have a thing for older men)
  4. When I met my husband I lied about my age. I told him I was 19, when I was really 15. I also told him I wasn’t a virgin (also a lie) because I figured I wouldn’t have a chance if I told him I was 15 and untouched. I thought it would put too much pressure on him. I told him before he kissed me. So I guess he’s still a pervert. (He was 23) What can I say? I wanted a college man.
  5. You know how for Christians, hell is the worst thing that could happen to you? Well, for me that would be camping. Camping is my hell. I’ve never been there, nor do I want to be there, and I will do everything in my power to never end up in a camping situation.

And that is it, peeps! I could go on, but I better keep it at five so Sara doesn’t call me from her vay-cay to ring my neck and inform me that her blog’s name is “If I had to Pick Five” for a reason. Plus, should I really subject you, innocent readers, to more things I should really keep to myself?