Friday, September 30, 2005

There's something I have to take care of and I've been putting it off. You see, I can't remember the last time I got a Chase credit card statement. And I've been bracing myself for this one for a while. It's got my yoga school tuition ($3500) and a new digital camera ($160ish) along with groceries and all the usual. D strongly urged me to call and say, Where's my statement? so they won't charge me a late fee. But oops, it's 6 pm now and I'm sure their customer service department is closed. Right?

Karen over at Verbatim did a post about iPod shuffles. Are they truly random? It seems like some musicians pop up more than others. I left a comment for Karen saying that although I have a lot of artists on my iPod, it seems to favor U2, Suzanne Vega and Tori Amos. Here's what came up when I was at the gym:

Heartache for Everyone - Indigo Girls
Bizarre Love Triangle - New Order
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - U2
Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go - Wham!
Luka - Suzanne Vega
What's the World Coming To? - Fleetwood Mac
Virginia - Tori Amos
Goodbye Pisces - Tori Amos
I Say A Little Prayer - Dionne Warwick
Cloud on My Tongue - Tori Amos
The Power of Orange Knickers - Tori Amos
Silent All These Years - Tori Amos

I know I have a lot of Tori's songs on there, but still!
I am in a blog expansive mood, and added several blogs to my blogroll this morning. Problem is, now I have 29 blogs, and I want 30!

Does anyone have a blog they love, which is not on my list, that you think I would like?

:)

Friday meme

A meme from Grown*Up Girlie's blog.

What color is most reflective of you? Pink.

How did you get the idea for your journal name? A high school friend and I always used to sing, "Potatoes in the mist, exchanging glances." I guess we were ripping off (riffing off?) Frank Sinatra. She even wrote "Potatoes in the mist exchange their glances" under her yearbook photo, though I like "exchanging glances" better.

What time were you born? 9:49 am

What song are you playing now, or wish you were playing? Not playing anything right now.

Has the death of a celebrity ever made you cry? No

What color underwear are you wearing? None, I'm in my jammies. TMI?

Do you want a baby? As I get older, I want one less and less. I know, it's horrible...but a lot of people who have kids seem really stressed out.

What is your pet's name? I don't have one, but my former dog was Pepper.

What color are your bedsheets? Green (they're my husband's sheets).

What are the last 3 digits of your phone number? 224

What was the last concert you attended? I can't remember, but I think it was Sting in 2000. It was a free concert in Central Park!

Who was with you? My college roommate, T.

What was the last movie you saw? Just Like Heaven.

What food are you craving right now? Nothing in particular.

Did you dream last night? No

What was the last tv show you watched? Donald Trump's Apprentice.

What is your fave piece of jewelry? My engagement ring.

What is to the left of you? My bedside table. It has several remotes, a water glass, a teacup, a list of things to do, and The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith on it.

What was the last thing you ate? 5 dates

Who is your best friend of the opposite sex? D

Who last imed you? I've never IM'd. I'm an email person.

Where is your significant other right now? Sitting next to me, typing on his computer. One of his employees just resigned and he's a little sad about it.

When was the last time you cut your hair? August. I used to cut it once a year or so. Now I'm going to try to get it cut every 3 months.

Are you on any meds? Allergy meds (Claritin, sometimes Benadryl).

Do you have a mental disease? Nope

What shirt are you wearing? Pink cami from Urban Outfitters

What time is it? 12:22 pm

What color is your razor? pink

What's your favorite shopping store? Old Navy, I'll admit it.

Are you thirsty? Yes, I could use a drink of water. I think I'll get one when I'm done with this meme.

Can you imagine yourself ever getting married? Already married.

I love tagging, but no pressure...this time I'll tag Jules, Bdogg, Ms. Dork, Liz and Lisa.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

I don't actually have tons to say today. Wow! So I'll just say a couple things.

I got my issue of Yoga Journal yesterday, or the day before. It talked about insomnia and said people who have it usually have an imbalance of vata. I never really got into ayurveda before but I'd like to cure my insomnia without drugs, so I was like, ok, I'll do some research.

Turns out I am very, very vata. To find out what type you are, go here. This means I tend to be thin, enthusiastic, creative, restless, and sometimes anxious. It also means I talk fast and have insomniac tendencies. So, to calm down my disposition and not upset my tummy, there are a list of foods that are good for me. It's cool because a lot of them are foods I already like, i.e. basmati rice and sweet potatoes. Spices and herbal tea are also very good for me. Apparently it is important for vata types to stay warm. If you find out your type and want to know what to eat, I would recommend putting "vata diet", "pitta diet" or "kapha diet" in a search engine.

It's funny, I've only been following this vata diet today and last night, and I already feel calmer and happier. I also slept decently last night, although I was awoken at 8 by people fiercely drilling and hammering directly above our heads. I thought it was Armageddon.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Gregory Maguire reading

Alas, no pictures. I went to the reading after yoga (a half hour before the official start time) and it was already pretty packed. I spotted a prime seat in the second row and grabbed it. It was then I learned that the long line off to the right was to buy the book, and you could only get it signed if you bought it first. This was very different from Jennifer Weiner's reading, where the books were stacked on a table and you could take one, have her sign it, then buy it. Not here. Not wanting to lose the seat, I didn't get a book. I'll take it out of the library. And, because I didn't get a book, I didn't get a chance to ask him if I could take his pic, and I wouldn't have felt comfortable taking a pic without asking.

With that out of the way, it was a good reading. GM is a short, compact man who was wearing a silvery vest under a sports jacket with black pants. There is a faint air of tweed about him and he speaks with the cadences of a professor. As soon as he started reading, his voice became more authoritative and he assumed different voices for the different characters, one of which was almost a growl. He said later that's how his Irish grandmother talks.

He said we won't see Elphaba alive in this book, but we won't see a corpse either. He talked about how the musical Wicked widened the already large readership of the book Wicked, to include 14-year-old girls, and how they all wrote to him asking what happened to Nor, who was a political prisoner of the Wizard. GM, not wanting to tell them about the realities of political prisoners, asked Maurice Sendak how to answer these letters. Maurice said, "Let them deal with it! Life sucks, they'll find that out soon enough." Ouch! GM now has 3 adopted children, one of whom will be 14 someday, he said, so he wanted to handle it more delicately. Although I don't think he went into how he handled it.

He said the idea for Wicked came to him after two 14-year-old boys in London, where he was living at the time, killed a 2-year-old child. He wanted to explore what would "make someone so corrupt as to kill someone else." He thought of writing about Hitler, dismissed that idea, tried to think who else people are afraid of, and Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch floated before his eyes. "If we're all allotted a moment of genius, that was mine," he said, "because everyone knows who she is and no one knows anything about her. She was ripe for the taking." He confessed that he fantasized about a movie version after Universal optioned the story, and he even casted it in his head: k.d. lang as Elphaba, Emma Thompson as Glinda's mother, a young Antonio Banderas as Fiero, and Angela Lansbury as Madam Morrible. But he said there was a "glass ceiling" and without someone like Mel Gibson, the studio lost interest and the musical came to the fore. He does not think Son of a Witch will get made into a musical, but he sang the words "Son of a Witch" to the tune of Beethoven's Fifth.

My favorite moment of the reading was when this big, bulky guy who would not have looked out of place at a Harley motorcycle bar, and had a big spiderweb tattooed on one elbow, raised his hand and said shyly, "Your writing is extraordinary. I never read fiction, but someone bought Wicked for me and I couldn't put it down. Your children are lucky to have such a great storyteller for a dad."

To which GM replied: "My kids don't like my stories!" He also said he won't let them watch The Wizard of Oz because it's "too damn scary." So, he says, they'll be the first kids who were familiar with Wicked first.

He also said he wrote a sequel to Wicked right away, called The Education of Tin and Straw, and it was like "afterbirth"...he wrote Wicked "so fast," he said, and then this book "spurted out." His agent said, "Gregory, with all due respect, put that book in your bottom drawer. Because it's not very good!" I'm curious about it, though.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I'm kind of deliriously tired, so this may be an odd post. I was up till 2:45ish last night (insomnia strikes again), so I turned off the alarm and decided not to go to the 9:30 am basic class. We have to go to one basic class a week as part of our requirements. Some are at night. Yuckily, I woke up at 8:30 am. My body is just programmed for this class. I was a little disappointed because the teacher didn't play any Kate Bush. She usually does. But anyway...

I stopped at B&N after class to listen to the new Sheryl Crow CD, but it didn't seem to be on the shelves, so I poked around and made the following discoveries:

1) I don't like the new David Gray CD, hence I won't be buying. I do like White Ladder though.
2) Gregory Maguire's new book looks awesome! I'll be going to a reading of his tomorrow night. Maybe he will let me take a picture of him, like Jennifer Weiner :)
3) Zadie Smith has a new book out called On Beauty. It's odd, I didn't love White Teeth as much as my college roommate did, but I read all her books anyway.
4) T.C. Boyle has a new short story collection out called Tooth and Claw. So I have to hit www.nypl.org and put some books on hold!

On another note, I finished Bel Canto by Ann Patchett last night. I won't spoil it if you haven't read it, but I avoided reading it for a while because the cover didn't grab me. (Does anyone not judge books by their cover? At least a little?) It turned out to be really different from what I expected. It was very original.

Monday, September 26, 2005

More doggy news



My sister sent this email to the family today:

Hi, I have another dog adoption in progress. Her name is Chloe. She was seen by the vet on Friday and was healthy with the exception of having one parasite. She weighs 37 pounds, is estimated to be between one and two years of age, and is some sort of shepherd mix. She doesn't exactly fit the profile I was looking for, but was in need . . . Hopefully, she can catch the puppy bus on Oct. 6th and arrive that Saturday. However, to do so, the vet would have to sign the health certificate one day early. If not, she'll come the following weekend.

Love, M.

I am looking forward to meeting the doggy!

On a side note, I saw the main actor from the defunct sitcom "Ed" on 6th Ave today. He was walking with a tall, thin brunette and as I passed them he said to her, "You said that to the cabdriver?"

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Something awful happened at yoga today. I raised my right leg for three-legged downward dog and felt my heel connect with someone's skull. It was horrible. Fortunately she was ok, though there is some red swelling above her eyebrow. No one gave me a hard time about it, and I apologized profusely, but I still felt really bad. My yoga friends made light of it - B said, "Kicking people, are we now, Bearette?" and when I told T that I felt like a yoga monster, she laughed and did a little karate kick. But then someone said to the girl, "Good luck with that bruise thingy," and I felt bad all over again. B said she's sure it's happened before. And we are packed like sardines in there (though I pulled my mat far away from the girl after it happened).

On a brighter note, Desperate Housewives will be on soon.

Saturday, September 24, 2005
















D called about half an hour ago. He and our friend Mike are staying at a Howard Johnson off the New Jersey interstate and they're going to Applebee's for dinner ;) I myself had one of Rachael Ray's stirfrys, and it was quite delicious.

A bit of backstory. D's cousin is getting married this weekend in Philly. Due to yoga Nazis, I cannot attend the wedding. D decided to bike to Philly for the wedding, which is tomorrow night. Mike decided to accompany him. Whether Mike will crash the wedding is as yet unseen.

Yoga class was good today. It was taught by one of the directors, but I still loved the motions of it and worked up a good sweat. Afterward we did adjustments, which I'm getting more comfortable with. I am still more comfortable adjusting women than men though.

Last night we went to Grimaldi's for D's birthday. Grimaldi's is widely considered to be the best pizzeria in the 5 boroughs and it usually lives up to its reputation. I had a glass of wine, which kept me up to 3 am, but I think I'm safe in saying a good time was had by all.

The conversations were so far-ranging I'm not sure which to include here. A sampling:

1) What women want. DG posited: a man who is confident, will protect them, take charge, make them feel safe. I interjected: they can't take too much charge, though. Then you have a Donald Trump situation.

2) Narcissism. I personally think it's a faulty construct. One of the guys at the party felt he was one, but after I did a little Internet reading, I don't think the label fits.

3) Which is better, Desperate Housewives or Sex in the City? I like Desperate Housewives, but DG felt it was like Sex in the City minus 20 IQ points. D likes Desperate Housewives, since he found SJP criminally annoying, and J said he likes Desperate Housewives better than his wife does.

4) What makes people friends. D said: 1) proximity and 2) each friend has to like something about the other, though it doesn't have to be the same thing.

5) John Updike. I met him when I was working at a movie theater one summer during college. He went to see Tin Cup; I was unimpressed with his movie choice. In person he seemed benign and not too pervy, but I can't say I like his fiction. He's one of those for-male-only writers. Except for The Witches of Eastwick, which was kind of cool.

Friday, September 23, 2005

I finished My Friend Leonard. I did like it, just not as much as A Million Little Pieces. Also, I read the review of My Friend Leonard at www.nypl.org (New York Public Library website) and they had a list of topics that the book was about, so the "secret" wasn't a huge shock for me. And Poppy, the book got me a little teary...but it was the part about Cassius, not the end. I dunno.

I still wish Lilly had lived.

When I just went to Amazon to do my links, I just saw that A Million Little Pieces has been chosen as an Oprah book. I have mixed feelings about it. I guess more people will read it now, but some people will dismiss it because some of Oprah's choices are not the best. We'll see.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Tonight we had a vegetable stir fry for dinner. It was pretty simple. You pan-fry cubes of firm tofu in 3 T canola oil until it's golden, then you take it out and stir-fry 2 medium onions, 1 green bell pepper and 2 summer squash in the same pan. After stir-frying the veggies for 10 minutes, you mix in 1/2 c of marinara sauce, black pepper, and sprinkle it with 1 c of muenster cheese. Then you cover the pan and it's done as soon as the cheese melts. You can serve it over rice.

My Friend Leonard has improved. I still like A Million Little Pieces better...I literally couldn't put that one down. I remember reading that till 3 or 4 pm and thinking, "Oh, I should eat lunch." I guess I find the James/Lilly romance more compelling than the James/Leonard friendship...but there is no denying that the *work* James does for Leonard is pretty interesting (I just got to the part where he started working for Leonard). I think James has had more interesting experiences than 90% of the population. But they are not necessarily experiences you would want to have. I still find it unbearably sad what happened to Lilly. It makes me wish it were fiction.

Yoga with B was good today. I still find it a pity that the directors are somewhat psychotic, because the regular teachers are awesome. I liked the way she structured it: over half an hour of standing poses, then some back- and forward bending, and wrapping it all up with a shoulderstand and savasana. I love standing poses.

We'll be watching the Donald tonight. Tomorrow is D's birthday. He will be 32 (gasp). I remember when I was 28 and he turned 30...I was so relieved to still be in the "golden" decade. But 30's not that bad. I can deal with it (I guess).

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Today I played tennis with AT at the Riverside Park courts. It was really beautiful with the river sparkling next to the courts and the sun setting. In fall, after the sticky grody summer is over, I fall in love with NYC all over again. We had to wait for our court so AT suggested yoga, which we commenced on the grass. Two women who looked as if they had probably never done yoga started laughing their asses off as soon as ours went up in the air. Then they got bored and wandered off. It is nice doing yoga outside, though the surface is never as level as it is indoors. At the end, lying on your back looking up at tree leaves and the sky overhead is pretty groovy.

Tennis was fun. I won the set. Turns out AT was handicapping himself - when I served, it was out if it went into the sidebars. But if he served, he counted it as out if it didn't go into the square diagonally across from him. When I noticed he was doing this, we started playing it my style, so he was no longer at a disadvantage. I felt bad about that.

At home I watched Martha's Apprentice with D. I once worked at a law firm that represented Martha. I got to work on her case a little, though I never got to meet her. She was there one day, but I didn't see her. I think that was a lost case from the beginning.

D had strong feelings about Martha, saying she was a jerk and her cordiality was fake. However, one of the guys on the show, in a Boston accent that reminded me of home, said he was falling in love with "Mahtha Stewart." This other guy, Jim, said, "Let's sacrifice some lambs!" before he went into the boardroom. Ugh.

On a side note...I am addicted to oranges! They are so sweet and orangey, and so very satisfying. I think I had 3 today.

I'm reading My Friend Leonard by James Frey. So far it isn't as good as A Million Little Pieces, which rocked. But it's not bad either.

P.S. The book is picking up now. He's a very powerful writer.

Tagged!

Here's a silly but fun meme from Poppy Cede:

1. Delve into your blog archive.
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five people to do the same.


So here's the 5th sentence of my 23rd post:

Saute for about 3 minutes, or until the onion has lost much of its water.

Disappointing, I know...it's a recipe for sweet potatoes...a very good one, actually ;)

So...I tag Liz, Lora, Lisa, Ms. Dork, Jules, and Bdogg (I know, I can never stick to 5). Dig, dig into your archives!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Tonight we had our mentor meeting, but no buddy meeting because T was sick. We'll reschedule it for some other time. T is 46 but she looks 34. A 30-year-old was hitting on her on the subway! She said, "He's so adorable, I don't know what to do with him." Her oldest child is 29, but when I first met her, I couldn't believe she had grown children. I think (and hope) that yoga, if done regularly, makes people look younger. Plus she lived in Hawaii for a time, where she probably had a nice, relaxing lifestyle. She mentioned "Hawaii time"...no one has a watch. I like that.

We did practice teaching. The others said I was good with instruction, watched people and responded to what they were doing, and had a nice voice. My mentor said I had a clear directness and was helpful and friendly. He also said I should move around the room more and maybe touch more, even if not necessarily assisting. I do feel shy about intruding into people's personal space unless they obviously need assistance. I'll work on it though. He also said to be careful with "um."

I made my penne with pesto using 1/4 cup of olive oil instead of 1/2 cup today. It just didn't taste the same, though it felt more virtuous.

Monday, September 19, 2005


I had a great yoga class today. I had low expectations, because my knee is scraped up and I expected it to be tender. But I put two overlapping Band-Aids on it, took 2 Tylenol before class, and honestly forgot about it (after the first hands-and-knees pose). This is the intermediate/advanced class, it takes me to the limits of my abilities and I love it. The teacher was talking about ecstasy (not the drug) and how Patanjali (a sage) said that it's the good experiences that cause suffering. I buy that completely. I am cursed/blessed with an excellent memory and sometimes I look back on good times and get wistful. But yoga takes me out of that into some different place altogether and it really was kind of like a rave (not that I've ever been to one). Anyway. I paid attention to the teacher's sequencing, which was all over the place and not like Desikachar's (this book that we're reading). This teacher did: standing poses, pigeon, one forward bend, inversion, arm balances, backbends, forward bends, shoulderstand, then savasana.

Here's what we had for din-din:

Baked Couscous with Spinach and Pine Nuts (thanks, Jeanne Lemlin)

1 c couscous
1 1/2 c boiling water
1/2 t salt
1/4 c olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, diced
1 28-oz can tomatoes, chopped and drained (reserve 1/3 c juice)
1 t dried basil
1/3 c pine nuts
5 c loosely packed fresh spinach, stems removed and leaves torn into small pieces
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 c grated Muenster cheese

1. Combine the couscous, boiling water and salt in a large bowl. Cover with a plate. Let sit 5 min, then fluff with a fork.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the garlic and onion 10 min, or until tender. Add the drained tomatoes and cook 10 min more, stirring frequently.
3. Stir the tomato mixture into the couscous and mix in the reserved tomato juice, basil, pine nuts, raw spinach and pepper.
4. Spread half the couscous mixture in a shallow 2 1/2 quart baking dish. (I use a 9 X 12.) Sprinkle on the cheese, then top with the remaining couscous. Cover the dish with foil and bake 25 min, or until hot and bubbly.

The only problem with this recipe is it takes much longer than one would think. I see the 25 minutes and think, oh, it's quick and easy. But you have the chopping and 20 minutes of sauteeing first. So allow lots of time!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Anatomy

Today we studied anatomy. This does not mean people pranced around nude. D thought that might happen. Instead, we discussed the ankle joint, knee joint, and hip joint. The teacher, H, pointed out some of the body parts on a friendly skeleton, Skelly. Sadly, Skelly's right leg fell off halfway through class, and she started waving it around. It wasn't a real human skeleton, but a miniature one. My yoga buddy said to me at one point, "I have a stupid question...she said at the beginning of the class that Skelly is a boy, and we could tell from his pelvis...how?" I said, "She said she'd talk about it later, and hasn't gotten to it yet," but now I'm curious. Maybe I'll check my anatomy coloring book.

I feel rather as if I've had a crash course in med school, with all the cruciate ligaments, iliac ligaments, medial menusci and so forth that we've discussed today. Football players sometimes get an injury called an "unhappy triad," when they're standing with their knees bent and someone punches their knee from the side. This injures their tibial posterior longus (or something like that), anterior cruciate ligament and medial meniscus all in one fell swoop. A bunch of this stuff can't be fixed after you're 20.

I fell on the pavement rushing to yoga school - they have a strict no-lateness policy - and felt like a real jackass! Some guy helped me up and asked if I was ok, and I thought, "Yes, I just can't walk." Once I got there they gave me first aid ointment, alcohol swabs and band-aids (actually more supplies than we have at home). I have a scrape on my left knee and right elbow. Teaches me to rush! I'm not alone, though - the teacher told a story about how someone was rushing from the bathroom to class and twisted her ankle, not today but in the past.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Whew, I'm tired. After 5 hours of yoga class, I went to my SIL's birthday party at PINCH (Pizza by the Inch) on the East Side. Have I mentioned that I hate the East Side? I left the restaurant to get an apple afterward and it took several avenue blocks to find one. Even then it was this yuppie Cafe 28 business. Give me the West Side with its teeming masses, all-night Korean grocers and CVS. Yeah!

I patted an eleven-year-old golden retriever on my way home from dinner. I have sad news about the dog my sister was going to adopt. The doggie, named Dixie, was put down because she became very ill. Rest in peace, Dixie.

"Show me how you do that trick..."

That's a line from The Cure song "Just Like Heaven." We just saw the movie. It was a little slow, very sweet and kind of old-fashioned. I would definitely recommend it if you like rom coms.

They did play some cover of The Cure song over the opening credits (bad!) but they played the original version at the end.

Lots of beautiful shots of San Fran, where we may spend part of the winter, though I don't want to move there. I felt connected to this apple right away ;)

Tomorrow is yoga school, we'll be covering mantras and pranayama (breathing exercises). It's a lecture day, which is fine. I have to bring my yoga buddy's Yankees cap because she forgot it at my apartment. It's kind of funny because I come from a family of Red Sox fans.

I'm reading Easy by Emma Gold. It's kind of ridiculous but very funny.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Author news

Jennifer Weiner will be featured in People tomorrow! Some anti-chick lit woman said that Jennifer "and her spawn" would be featured. Gimme a break. Also, a short story of Jennifer's (I know, we're not exactly on a first name basis, but Weiner seems impolite) will appear in the October Glamour. It's about a woman who's obsessed with her ex-boyfriend. He recently became engaged, and she goes to his online wedding registry and substitutes her name for his betrothed's! Should be fun.

Also, Gregory Maguire (author of Wicked) is doing a reading at a bookstore near me next Wednesday! His new book, Son of a Witch, is coming out. I assume he'll be signing as well. I skimmed the Amazon description and it sounds like a sequel to Wicked. I couldn't be more excited ;)

What a beautiful potato


That was what my husband said when he saw my lunch. He had thought a potato would be too decadent, so he ordered some grease-soaked food from Dinersty instead ;) I think he regretted his decision. I let him have a bite :)

Incidentally, don't you think the ability to recognize and appreciate a beautiful potato is an important shared characteristic among couples? I think so.

If you want to recreate the potato, buy a russet potato, put it in the microwave for 6 minutes after stabbing it in several places with a fork. When it comes out, cut it in half lengthwise, use a butter knife to draw a line inside the potato about a half inch or quarter inch from the edge, and scoop out the flesh. Mash the flesh with a fork and mix it with cubes of Muenster cheese, cubes of cheddar cheese, chopped parsley and nonfat sour cream. Sprinkle the top with paprika and cook at 400 for 20 minutes.

We may be getting rid of this rug, which my husband bought before I moved in. We like the hardwood floor. If you're interested or know someone in the Manhattan area who is, let me know!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Not too much to report today. We had tofu burgers for din-din. They had a nice woodsy flavor, almost like turkey stuffing (sans meat of course), thanks to the white miso and breadcrumbs. There were also walnuts so it was quite protein-ous.

After dinner I took a bike ride, past the felafel man whom I hadn't seen in a while, up past the boat basin up to around 86th Street along the Hudson River, and then I went down to Canal. I wished I brought my camera with me because the George Washington Bridge is quite beautiful at night. I could see it in the distance. The horizontal part of the bridge was strung with yellow lights, and the vertical supports were strung with green lights, and it made me feel quite Christmasy.

I am a little blue. I am adjusting to yoga school, but due to mentor/buddy meetings on Tuesday, I will no longer be able to go to J's yoga class, which I've been attending for over a year. By the time yoga school is over, her baby will be born and she will probably not teach again for a bit. Or maybe she'll bounce right back. Who knows.

On my bike ride I saw a rat, and I tensed, expecting it to dart across my path and cause another spill. But no. This rat was very confident. It was like, "I am bigger than you. You are no threat," and I thought, "Okay."

On my way back from 12th Avenue I saw a woman walking toward a car. Her face was split into a huge grin and she was laughing silently as if something was the biggest riot in the world. I looked into the car to see if someone else was in on the joke, but it was empty. There was no one in sight. Oh well, I'm glad she was having such a good time.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005




Today was a long but very fun day. I went to the basics class in the morning, dug it to a surprising extent, and then D and I had lunch at Chennai Garden. On the way I saw a little puppy! The owner explained that he (the puppy) didn't get outside very much because he hadn't had his shots yet, so he was very excited to be in the outside world! I tried to get some pics of the puppy but he immediately spazzed out and started licking the camera. I deleted that picture because it was just a blur of fur.

Once we got to Chennai I had the trusty onion rava masala dosa (now I can finally put a picture to the words), followed by kulfi. The kulfi comes in a little pyramid and I always bite the top off, and we took a pic but D said it was lewd. ;)



I played tennis with my friend AT, which was a fun experience. I won 5 games out of 9! (We didn't have time for a full set.) We are definitely going to have a rematch in the near future. Afterward we swept the court with long brooms. It was a red clay court. Then we hosed it down and I sprayed my hair and face because it was so hot. A guy who was sweeping the court next to ours pointed out that I had a very old tennis racket. He said it dated from the late '70s. I said my father-in-law gave it to me. For some reason it feels really good in my hand even though the handle is covered in tape. It's the perfect weight.

Then we had the mentor meeting at my apartment. I'm thinking of volunteering at the soup kitchen where AT volunteers to fulfill my karmic yoga requirement. We have to give something back to the community. I'm also playing with the idea of walking my neighbor's dog Sarah. That doesn't really feel like a selfless act though because I love Sarah.

Poll: Should I keep my present profile photo or replace it with this pic from the restaurant?

Car quiz

Your Summer Ride is a Beetle Convertible

Fun, funky, and a little bit euro.
You love your summers to be full of style and sun!

Underwear quiz

What Your Underwear Says About You

You have a lucky pair of underwear. And you wear it more than you should.

You're comfortable in your own skin - and don't care to impress anyone.
I went to a basics class this morning, and surprisingly, I really enjoyed it! I thought it would be too easy and boring, but instead it was relaxing and gentle. We did dolphins (hands clasped, elbows shoulder-width apart, legs in downward dog, then leaning forward so your chin goes past your hands, then back again). I haven't done those in a while and I forgot how awesome they are for strengthening your arms and shoulders. I am still reliant on the wall for my headstands but I am moving forward day by day. Last night I went to the intermediate/advanced class and there was some fun stuff...moving right from eagle to dancer, putting our feet in lotus position while in shoulderstand, side crow, lots of revolved triangle, etc. For side crow you can put your right hip on the back of your right arm. I hadn't known that and it makes it a lot easier. Although I liked that stuff, this morning was a nice contrast.

Their requirements are starting to make more sense to me. While it would be too much to maintain this schedule for months on end, it is only for 13 weeks, and in essence it's a total immersion in yoga. At first I didn't want to take a basics class (they have you take a basics class, plus an intermediate or intermediate/advanced class every week, and have the teacher sign a sheet to show you attended). But it did turn out to be a good idea. And I think I will be better equipped to teach a basics class.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Curry and karaoke












    D is reading an article in the New York Times about the brothers karaoke. They have set up their own karaoke studio in their Chelsea apartment. They have 1210 songs, including "Living on a Prayer" (probably an essential for any karaoke collection).

Anyway, here is the yummy curry we had for lunch!

Vegetable and Cashew Curry (Vegetarian Classics, Jeanne Lemlin - can't go wrong with her, most of the time anyway)

1/4 c canola oil
1 onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 T minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 T curry powder
1 t ground cumin
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes with their juice
1/2 t salt (I noticed this is on the ingredient list, but it is never mentioned in the recipe itself! So I ended up not using it.)
2 1/2 c peeled and finely diced (1/2-inch) boiling potatoes (I used the red ones)
3 small to medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
3/4 c dry-roasted (preferably unsalted) cashews
1 T lemon juice (half a lemon)
4 c hot cooked basmati rice (made from 1 c raw rice with 2 c water)
Plain yogurt

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over med heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger. Saute 5 min. Mix in the curry powder and cumin. Cook 2 min to toast the spices.
2. Add the tomatoes and 1 c water. Bring to a boil. Stir in the potatoes. Cover the pan. Cook at a gentle simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 min. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
3. Remove the cover of the pan. Add the zucchini and cashews. Cook, uncovered, until the zucchini is tender, about 10 min. Mix in the lemon juice. Serve the curry over rice with a spoonful of yogurt on top.

I took the pictures before adding yogurt, because I thought it would be more attractive that way, but we did add the yogurt and it definitely enhances the experience ;)
I wrote a bit in my paper journal today. As part of our "asana homework," we had to do at least 15 minutes of sun salutations and the poses of the week. It was fun structuring the practice myself, but I found I will need to concentrate on doing things in the same order on each side. I am very ENFP, so structure and discipline are just not my strong suit.

Which may be why I am chafing at the bit with all the rules they are imposing. I am making my peace with them (slowly). The teacher explained yesterday to all of us that if we miss any classes, any mentor meetings or buddy meetings, we will not be certified. So yes, it's very clear that they're super serious about this, but I have never been in a program (college, law school, bar review, writing classes) where you are not allowed to miss a session. I immediately got panicky and thought, what if I get my days mixed up and miss a mentor meeting? So I got the bright idea of offering to have the mentor meetings at my apartment, although I don't know if that will happen. That way, I can't miss them! And they'll be very convenient.

My buddy meetings are also going to be at my apartment, although freakishly early, because my buddy teaches in New Jersey and has limited times when she can be in the city.

All these changes are pretty stressful, so if anyone has good suggestions on dealing with stress or anger, let me know! Yoga itself is helpful, but unfortunately a lot of the rest of my time is cluttered with bureaucracy.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Today was much better than yesterday. The woman who taught today was a better teacher, in my opinion. She didn't ramble about herself like yesterday's woman and I felt like I learned a bunch. We dissected the anatomy behind tadasana (mountain pose), virabhadrasana II (Warrior II), trikonasana (triangle), and parsvakonasana (extended side angle). People who had problems in each pose volunteered to have the teacher "work" on them in front of the class. The thing is, everyone pretty much knows what they're doing, so when it was my turn to practice teach, I didn't see many obvious adjustments, and had to do subtle ones instead. This was very different from basic classes I've attended in the past where I wanted to go up to people and adjust them (though of course I didn't ;)

The dinner we had afterward at Regional Thai was too heavy. I am developing a huge preference for my own cooking over that of many places ;) I do, however, love the onion rava masala dosa at Chennai Garden, and I don't know how to make it. Oh well!

I'm reading Cooking for Mr. Right, which is a fun book. The author is a professional chef. Although it's fiction, she includes some recipes at the end. Unfortunately, many of them have meat.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Doggie news


Here is the doggy my sister is adopting! She apparently got her from a place called Last Chance Shelter in Little Rock, Arkansas, via petfinder.com. She was scheduled to be put down on 8/25, but now she is saved :) The doggy will travel on a puppy bus from the shelter to Manchester, New Hampshire, where my sister will pick her up. My sister lives in Massachusetts.

A little vent

Hopefully this will be my last wah-wah post on this topic. I'm pretty irked with my yoga center right now. They left a message making it pretty clear that if I go to the wedding, I won't be welcome back. I thought yoga was supposed to be about "love and compassion" (IN THEIR WORDS!) They even went so far as to call it "love school." Ha - no love if you break their rules.

There, that felt better. The class itself I actually enjoyed. The 5 hours flew by. The woman at the front desk said it was almost 7 and I was amazed. I thought it was 5:30. I liked how they slowed down all the postures and we did "assists", where you adjust your partner in a pose. At first I was very shy about touching strangers but then I got used to it.

There are a whole group of teachers in the program. The one today is very strident and in-your-face. She told us to get some water at one point, and a few people lingered outside the room, talking as they drank their water. I was already inside, knowing full well that she is anal. She leaned out the open doors and yelled, "I SAID GET WATER, NOT A BREAK!" She turned to the rest of us and said, "I'm usually easygoing, but when I say go get water, it's not a break."

Wow. And I thought I left behind this kind of behavior when I left the corporate world. At any rate, she won't be teaching again for 2 weeks.

In other news, poor D got lost on the bike ride he took during my yoga class. He won't be home for another hour.

Yummy

I made a banana lassi this morning...quite good! You take 1 ripe banana, 1 c plain yogurt, 1/4 t cardamom, 10 ice cubes, 2 T sugar and blend them all together. Makes 2. (from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian)

Friday, September 09, 2005

Aarggh

I was really stressed out. But now I'm over it, I think. We had yoga orientation today. It seems a little Gestapo-ish. They are stacking on piles and piles of requirements. The other girls are nervous too. But D persuaded me not to take it too seriously, just enjoy it on my own terms.

My yoga buddy seems very nice. She's a little older, and has a dance background. She has a daughter in college and a son who's a lawyer. The whole law business scarred me more than I like to admit. I kind of get chills when it comes up. But time heals all wounds, right?

Her name is T. She was telling me that she has an Australian shepherd puppy, who is tri-colored. I can't visualize one of those but I bet it's cute. A friend of hers got a dog to pick up guys! I thought it was usually the opposite. I think women are more likely to pat strange dogs.

Here are some of the requirements we have to do:
- daily journal-ing (hello, blog! we don't have to pass this in)
- weekly writing assignments, which are supposed to be "a paragraph, a page". These I have to print out on the printer in D's office, but I can actually do this remotely, he says. From home.
- go to one kirtan (little parties they have where there is chanting and singing) and write about the experience.
- weekly buddy meetings - then write about it.
- weekly mentor meetings. My mentor seems very nice, and the 3 girls in my group (including my buddy) are nice as well. One of them wants to get laid off because her PR job is stressing her out!
- karmic yoga - give back to the community. I'm thinking I will volunteer at the soup kitchen where AT goes, if scheduling permits.
- teach one community class after graduation, which happens in December.
- written final and physical final
- reading from various texts
- 2 classes a week, 1 basic, 1 more advanced flow (and we have to have the teachers sign a sheet showing we attended!)
- a 5-hour class every Saturday and Sunday (in addition to the above)

I think that's about it. *Perspective*. I will not stress out.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

My nephew's story

Here is a story one of my nephews wrote. He is 7. By way of explanation: my entire family, except me, worship the Red Sox. I have nothing against the Red Sox...I'm just not into baseball. And I like their underdog-ness. And I admire their passion for baseball.

Dreams
by [my nephew]

You can have any dreams you want. You can have a dream about the Red Sox playing The Babies. The score could be the Red Sox 5,008 and the Babies 5,007. The Babies were up. Super Baby was up. He hit the ball out of the park. The bases were loaded. Small Baby was up. He hit the ball into center field. It was going to Manny. Manny caught the ball and he threw it to home plate. Jason Varitek caught it. He threw it to the first baseman. He threw it to the second baseman. He threw it to the third baseman. The Red Sox won!

THE END

Don't you like the short, crisp sentences? ;)

I'm so excited...and I just can't hide it



My digital camera came in the mail today! It's a little silver Sony Cybershot. It can fit in my pocketbook and it takes much better pictures than D's camera phone.

Some samples...I had a little tomato sauce on my chin, please ignore.









It's weird, my neighborhood used to be mostly guys. Now there all these girls with Frederic Fekkai highlights and push-up bras! I don't know what to make of it. I thought at first that I was getting older (30th birthday in July), and therefore I was getting insecure and everybody else looked better than they used to. But D noticed it too. I kinda miss the grunge years when you could put on a flannel shirt and no one worried about their appearance. Truth be told, if everyone were blind I'd probably never brush my hair, eat like a hippo and just lie around reading books and talking.

Also, The Big Cup on 8th Avenue is closing. I used to ogle their pastries and such but I never went in because it was one of those men-only places. I suspect the guys who went there didn't eat them either.

Depressingly, my jeans are all a little tight. So I'm eating more moderately and ramping up my gym visits again. Yoga helps you stay in shape, and builds your muscles, but for pure calorie burning, the gym is the way to go. For me, anyway. So today I walked on the treadmill for 45 minutes, and I'll do an hour of yoga at 4:15.

I'll be playing tennis with AT on Tuesday. That should help as well ;)

I finished Bollywood Confidential and started reading The Interruption of Everything. I like Terry McMillan. Her husband recently came out of the closet, they're getting divorced, and she reportedly wrote 1000 pages about it! This was after The Interruption of Everything came out. Apparently he was much younger, they met in Jamaica, and she gave him $65,000 to start up a crafts business.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Spock

Tonight I met the cutest dog! Well, I met several, but this one was very young and tiny with ears like Spock, sticking right out of its head. I started patting it and immediately felt its pointy young teeth in my elbow (not hard enough to hurt). The owner explained, "I usually carry around rawhide sticks for her to nibble on." He explained how he was still looking at puppies while his wife picked this one up and brought it to the cashier. The puppy then nibbled on my new skirt. I held out my pocketbook strap, but it was only interested in the forbidden.

Consumer adventures

This will be a what-I-got post :)

I went to return my library books today. Couldn't get into Jodi Picoult, despite Jules' recommendation. I was trying to figure out my algorithm for liking books. I think the best way to describe it is, I have to hit it off with the author. Through the written page, of course - I've only met 1 author in person (Jennifer Weiner).

Anyway, the library was not yet open when I first went. Wednesday is their lazy day. But they had a box of free books outside! So I scooped up Bel Canto, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Bride Stripped Bare, and Madras on Rainy Days. I'm currently reading Bollywood Confidential, which is fun.

Then I bought tennis passes for me, D and our friend AT (otherwise known as El Guapo). The tennis passes say that smooth-soled sneakers are required. I hope the court attendants aren't too observant, because all I've got are garden variety New Balance sneakers and they may not pass inspection.

Then I went to Old Navy and bought a fun lacy skirt. They had it in red and chocolate brown. I would have preferred black but it doesn't come in that color. So I got the brown. It was $24.50, marked down to $19, and then I applied my $10 "bucks back" certificate. So the whole mess was $9.92 after tax. I love it when that happens.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Don't you hate it when you buy a new cookbook, and the first recipe you make from it just isn't good? All that trust. Dashed, just like that. That's what happened with Serene Cuisine. I made a spinach/cottage cheese side dish and it was bland.

So I made dishes from other sources tonight. I made a tofu, broccoli and peanut sauce dish from Crystal's blog, and I made a potato side dish from World Vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey. She runs Dawat in Manhattan. In case you didn't know, I love potatoes. So I really dug the side dish, even though I had to bastardize it somewhat. I decided to make it on the spur of the moment, and I didn't want to go to the grocery store again. So I omitted the peas and most of the tomatoes (grating up some grape tomatoes instead). Here's the recipe:

3 T peanut or canola oil
1 med onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 1-in piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into minute dice
2 med tomatoes, grated
1 3/4 to 2 t salt
1/2 to 1 t cayenne
2 t garam masala
1/4 t ground turmeric
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-in chunky dice
1 lb boiling potatoes (the yellow waxy kind), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 c defrosted frozen peas

Heat the oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. When hot, put in the onion. Stir-fry for 4-5 min. Put in the ginger and stir for another min. Add the grated tomatoes, salt, cayenne, garam masala and turmeric. Stir-fry for 3-4 min. Add the carrots and potatoes. Stir for a min. Add 1/2 c water, stir and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook gently for 15-20 min, or until the potatoes are tender. Add the peas, stir and cover again. Cook another 4-5 min.
We had lunch at Chennai with Lobo and IG. I'm mourning the loss of D's camera phone. It's not officially dead, but he can no longer email me pictures from it. Hence the naked, pictureless state of both our blogs. But my digital camera should be arriving soon. It has 4 megapixels or something like that, and is slim enough to put in your pocket.

At Chennai the waiter came out with a perfectly done dosa and a slightly burnt one and gave me the burnt one and Lobo the perfect one. In a paranoid manner, I started to wonder if he was sexist. IG assured me that if the waiter were sexist, he would have given me the perfect one. For some reason the dosa didn't fill me as much as usual. So I picked at D's saag paneer a little.

On the way back IG entertained us with tales of a friend of his who has pitbull races in his house, where the pitbulls race around and pull things, and see who can finish fastest. I actually have no problem with pitbulls. I met one the other day who started wagging just at the sight of me. Of course, if one were dangerous I wouldn't pat it. But I firmly believe that all dogs are inherently nice, unless trained to be otherwise.

I made brownies last night. Now the thorny problem of how to get rid of them. The cleaning lady came today (D's mother hired her initially, then suggested that she clean for D once every two weeks). This was before I met D. I always have vague guilt about having a cleaning lady. Anyway, I offered her some brownies, she dug them, and so I gave her some more to take home. Now we have four left, which isn't terrible.

Tonight I'm going to try one of Crystal's recipes - tofu, broccoli and tomatoes with peanut curry sauce, over basmati rice. If the recipe comes out well, I'll put it up.

El crimen perfecto

Tonight D and I saw "El crimen perfecto" at a little theater on Houston Street. It was quite nice, with exposed wood beams near the ceiling. It's an odd Spanish movie with subtitles, about rival department store employees who are vying for the title of floor manager. D and I both gave it a B plus. It was entertaining, but it was very plot-driven, and the plot started to spiral out of control near the end.

The theater also sold DVDs, so I bought a copy of "Ghost World" for $14.99. I liked that movie and Steve Buscemi was good in it. It's also interesting to see Scarlett Johanssen before she got all glam (and vapid).

Monday, September 05, 2005

Sarah, and dogs in general

I just saw my friend Sarah, who lives on the 7th floor. A bit of background: Sarah is a miniature schnauzer, with her hair cut short ("she's ready for summer," her owner said a few months ago). When she was a baby, Sarah was perhaps the cutest puppy I had ever seen, second only to my childhood doggy, Pepper, a Cairn terrier who used to fit on my pillow (next to my head).

Anyway, I saw Sarah as I left Gristede's, and kneeled down to pat her. Immediately she pushed my headphone off my ear so she could lick it, which made me laugh. While my mouth was open, she took the opportunity to lick my front teeth. Dogs love to do this to me ;) After some mouthwash, I should be as good as new.

Movies, buses and books

Rewatched Secretary tonight. I like how delightfully weird James Spader is. I also like how, when he interviews Maggie Gyllenhaal for the job, his first question is, "Are you pregnant?" and his last statement is, "It's very dull work." I'm feeling very italic this evening.

The bus ride back from the Poconos was uneventful. The bus was pretty empty, which was cool, up until we stopped at the Woodbury, NY outlets. Then 8 million people, mostly Asian, filed onto the bus, loaded down with Kenneth Cole bags. I put my stuff overhead to make room for this girl who sat next to me. Instead of putting her own bags overhead, she put her bags on the floor, so they took up most of her leg room, and put her legs in the aisle.

I finished Book #4 in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series and started reading The Man I Should Have Married by Pamela Redmond Satran. It's about a woman who is dumped by her husband (a lawyer-turned-yoga instructor...hmm) and later reconnects with a studly Irish bartender.

We watched Party Girl with my in-laws. I liked:

a) when Parker Posey rearranged her roommate's CDs (he was a DJ) according to the Dewey Decimal System, with categories for "sleaze" and "disco."

b) how the club owner went ballistic when Teddy Rogers' music was played.

c) when the DJ did a very strange imitation as part of his interview.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Poconos

So the Poconos are not as boring as I thought. We got some entertainment on the bus ride up when the woman in front of us kept talking loudly on her Betty Boop phone. Some guy turned around and rudely told her to shut up. "Do I have to listen to your conversation for the whole ride?" he said. She ignored him and kept talking about dialysis and such. Finally he said, "Should we all give her a hard time?" and the other passengers attacked her! (Verbally, of course.) It reminded me of a ritual stoning. The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, all over again. She said to the hecklers, "Take your heart medication when you have a heart attack."

Then, across the way, D pointed out a woman who was caressing eggs from an egg carton. Finally she cracked one and we all held our breath! Was she going to eat a raw egg? No, it was hard boiled. Bummer.

I played tennis with D's father, with D behind me as backup. I haven't played tennis since I was 10. I enjoyed it more than I did back then.

D took a funny picture of me at the supermarket. I'll put it up later - his cell/camera phone has no connection up here. It was oddly clear for a camera phone picture - maybe it will be my new profile picture.

Happy Labor Day, everyone.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Please don't forget the doggies

I know I already posted a link to the ASPCA, but I read this in Jennifer Weiner's blog:

"If you're a pet lover, you've probably already seen the heartbreaking footage of dogs and cats left behind (for example, the folks being evacuated from the Superdome aren't being allowed to take their animals with them). You can help by donating to the Humane Society or the ASPCA."

Please, please give! Thank you. These poor animals don't know why they were left behind.

Poppy meme

Here's a meme from Poppy's blog. I don't know why I love these so much.

1. Name as it appears on birth certificate: Not my current name, because I changed my maiden name to my husband's last name.
2. Nicknames: Bearette, muffin, puffin.
3. Place of Birth: Danvers, MA.
4. Favorite food: Pass - impossible question for me to answer!
5. Ever been to Africa: No.
6. Love someone so much it hurts: I think it always hurts when you break up or realize it wasn't meant to be. Depressing...next...
7. Been in a car accident? Twice...once my fault, once not.
8. Croutons or bacon bits: Croutons, if I'm in the mood. I can do without them though. They're like little fat pellets.
9. Favorite day of the week: Sunday. Just something relaxing about it.
10. Favorite restaurant: Again, too hard. Maybe Chennai Garden (Indian resto here in NYC).
11. Favorite sport to watch: None!
12. Favorite drink for summer: Mango lassi
13. Favorite ice cream: Pumpkin ice cream and banana ice cream are tied
14. Favorite fast food: I'm not really into fast food. It kind of doesn't go with being vegetarian.
15. What color is your bedroom carpet: Hardwood floor.
16. How many times did you fail your driver's test: Never! Passed on the first try.
17. Before this one, from whom did you get your last e-mail: Probably my friend Carpe - we are frequent email communicators.
18. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card: Barnes & Noble.
19. What do you do most often when you are bored: Blog, read, cook, watch movies, send email. Also love yoga but I don't have to be bored to do it.
20. What time is Bedtime: (gulp) 1 am.
21. Favorite TV shows: Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy.
22. Last person/s you went to dinner with: My husband and my friend A.
23. Ford or Chevy: Neither. I like Japanese cars (Honda, Toyota).
24. What are you listening to right now: Nothing. I listened to Suzanne Vega and Jack Johnson recently.
25. What is your favorite color: Pink!
26. Lake, ocean or river: Ocean. I love the waves.
27. How many tattoos do you have? None.
28. Have you ever run out of gas: Nope. Even as a little kid, I always asked my mother if we had a "full tank."

Revolution is the only solution

I am loving yoga. In fact, I am a yoga FREAK. I went twice today. My crow is coming along nicely. I can now hold it for about a minute. This is a pose where all your weight is on your hands. I can also tilt forward and put my head on the ground, then balance my knees on my bent elbows (the first step to a tripod headstand). Yay! For some reason, putting a pillow or a blanket on the floor and hiding your hands beneath it makes all the difference.

We had a nice dinner tonight with A. I did have the feeling I ate too much, as it felt like there was a congealed ball in my stomach afterward. We went to the Ethiopian place and I used chopsticks. Afterward, we went to a Hungarian pastry place where I got a pink petit four and shared it with D. The bathroom was full of Columbia-style graffiti, such as: "Bush? He must be overthrown. It's that simple. Revolution is the only solution." Ah, to be in college again. The real world is not quite so dramatic or passionate (in my experience).

Friday news

One of my blogfriends is in Italy, and I miss her. And her dog. I know, it's silly.

Anyway, if anyone's reading...I know it's Labor Day weekend...I just ordered a digital camera! This means more pix on my blog (given that I can figure out how to use it). I may even update my profile picture to one that's not fuzzy. D's camera phone is fun but has serious limitations.

I didn't get it at Amazon...I used Ixquick.com's lowest price feature to find it cheaper at Digital Foto. (I hate those misspellings ;) Anyway, Digital Foto slapped on a $14.64 tax and $4.95 for shipping, which means I only got it for 50 cents cheaper than at Amazon...but heck, it's better than nothing.

I also got a new cookbook, Serene Cuisine, from my yoga center. It looks quite yummy. Vegetarian recipes with an Indian/Thai slant. They also look fairly simple, aside from some exotic ingredients (asafetida, anyone?)

I'll be in the Poconos on Saturday, returning Sunday. I don't like the Poconos that much but my in-laws have a summer house there and I owe them a visit. We're going to watch Party Girl on their new big screen.

Tonight we're going to have dinner with our friend AT, who is freshly returned from Spain. He just hiked across a big chunk of that country and ate a lot of gazpacho, among other things.

I'm currently reading The Kalahari Typing School for Men by Alexander McCall Smith. It's just as cute and charming as the other books in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. They're much less mysteries than "slice of life" books, and it's pretty interesting because they take place in Botswana, a country I didn't know much about before. So...I recommend them!

I'm going to yoga twice today because a) it's free, b) i dig it and c) I'll miss it in the Poconos, where it's not available.

Katrina

Bdogg and Kim have both put up names of charities accepting donations.

I just gave to the ASPCA and it was very quick and easy.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Bits and pieces

I just finished 2 books R sent me to review for chicklitbooks.com. One was called Mine Are Spectacular and the other was Love Will Tear Us Apart. I feared these leaped across the chasm from fun reading to stupid reading...but no. They were actually pretty good. The first one was feather-light but enjoyable. The second one really pulled me in and I only took breaks to go to yoga and grocery shopping (and cook dinner). I finished it in a day. Unfortunately it had a crappy ending. I would have been happy to volunteer my services to write a happier ending, but I wasn't asked ;)

I also got my $0.98 CDs from Amazon. Songs in Red and Gray by Suzanne Vega was quite good, although it has some song overlap with her Retrospective, which I already own. Currently listening to Jack Johnson's In Between Dreams. D says it's "fun little music." It is. Very relaxing. I suspect he smoked some pot in his time. Jack, not D.

Did anyone finish the new John Irving? I know Liz and Lora started it. It just seemed terrible. I'll give his next one a chance though. I loved A Widow for One Year.

Wedding in Brooklyn

Just got back from an Orthodox wedding. Some old man with a glass eye and a walker asked me if I went to Hebrew Day School. I didn't have the heart to tell him I went to St. Mary's CCD.

It was quite an adventure getting there. We took the subway out to Canarsie, a neighborhood that immediately made me flip my diamond under. Then we asked for directions in a skeevy storefront that had a menu including cow foot and oxtail. The cow foot was a bargain at $4. Eventually we found a cab. I don't recommend walking from the Canarsie subway stop to El Caribe Country Club. The cab ride was $9 (although D points out this may be because it was a "gypsy" cab). Even in an ordinary cab it would have been $5, I think.

The food was 100% carbs - no tofu, beans, nuts or cheese in sight. So I slipped into a coma after dinner and fortunately we left pretty quickly. In the past my MIL has lingered at such events until the caterers are pointedly folding up tables. I don't know why they reformed but I'm happy about it.

The Verrazano Bridge is pretty at night.