Thursday, May 31, 2007

Words of the day and "truth truth lie"

The first word of the day is callipygian. I kept coming across it when I was reading gossip items about Cameron Diaz and Jessica Biel. In case you didn't know, Cameron doesn't heart Jessica, who is now dating Cameron's ex-boyfriend, the redoubtable Justin Timberlake. Now that a few brain cells have been killed, I kept coming across the phrase "the callipygian starlet" in reference to Jessica Biel. Realizing that if I don't understand all the words in a gossip column, something is wrong, I promptly looked it up.
It means having a nice butt.

Didn't that enhance your day?

The other word of the day is anvilicious. I found this word nestled over at Lisa's blog, but couldn't find it on www.dictionary.com. I've been too lazy to crack open the bricks-and-mortar dictionary, so Lisa will have to tell us.

Now it's time for "truth truth lie", borrowed from Ms. L.

Eight items about me - pick which one is false.

1. I used to bite people on Friday the 13th.
2. I've only lived in three states in my life: Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York.
3. I once had a roommate whose "stage" name was Patty Rocks. We didn't know specifically what she did; we were too afraid to ask.
4. Last Tango in Paris freaked me out when I saw it in college.
5. The first R-rated movie I saw was Child's Play (featuring the evil doll, Chucky).
6. I was once pulled over by a cop when driving, but didn't know what I did wrong.
7. I have never stayed at a job longer than a year and ten months.
8. I've been living in New York for 10 years.

Update: #8 is false. Amy solved the puzzle. Thanks to all who played :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

My Rainer visit and celebrity spotting

Tonight we visited Rainer. Some other girl was patting him but as soon as he saw me, he got into my lap. I like being his #1 ;)

I told the girl if she sits cross-legged, he will sit on her lap. I probably shouldn't have explained this because now his affections will be divided :(

Some things I've learned about Rainer:
  • He likes mellow jazz, preferably non-vocal.
  • He does NOT like alternative The Cure-type stuff or anything discordant, but his displeasure is mitigated if you sing, "Good cat, the best cat" to the tune of whatever is playing in the bookstore.
  • He likes a low, soft voice.
  • If your legs are bare, he has fun kneading them with his paws: pressing one paw into your leg, then the other. He retracts his claws for this.
And celebrities spotted:
  • Kyle MacLachlan walking his dog on Broadway around 16th. He's Bree's husband on Desperate Housewives. I think he dated Charlotte on SATC, too. I almost patted his dog, but he was walking too fast.
  • Rachael Ray. D had a business meeting in the building where the Food Network is, and I walked him over there. She is very short and has a nice smile.
  • Sandra Bernhardt. I've seen her at Whole Foods twice and on a street corner once. I feel like I know her!

My little secret

I love Pert Plus. It's such a mundane, pedestrian shampoo, but it makes my hair so silky ;) I got a trial size when we went to Providence, and now I'm hooked.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

They *really* need to bring me in as an ending consultant

So I just finished Dream When You're Feeling Blue by Elizabeth Berg. She is one of my favorite authors and I was looking forward to reading her newest book. Okay, I was apprehensive because it got some bad reviews on Amazon. But I figured she wouldn't let me down.

For most of the book, I was right. It was beautifully written and full of interesting historical detail (really) from the 1940s, with sympathetic characters, suspense, humor and all that good stuff.

Then she spoiled it with a HORRIBLE ENDING. A lot of customer reviewers at Amazon felt the same way. Really, it's not that hard!! Most books and movies have a natural ending that most of the audience wants. I could supply it for these people. I would do it for free.

Note: EB is still awesome and I will read her next book.

In other news:

1) Inspired by Liz, I ordered a neti pot and some saline solution from Amazon. I don't know when it will get here, but I am excited! I even recommended it to a woman on the elevator who was complaining about her sinuses.

2) I am *probably* going to take the leap into crochet. I'm knitting a tank top now that requires crochet around the neck and bottom edge. I figured, if I'm going to incorporate crochet into a knitted garment, I might as well crochet a scarf or a bag. We'll see.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Tutu

D spent most of the day today with a Dutch business partner. They were eating lunch and the Dutch guy started saying how much he hates tutus. How he has disdain for them. How they're everywhere!

D thought he was going crazy, that there was a huge trend in tutus and he was just missing it. Finally it dawned on him: TATTOOS.

Hee.

Also, I saw Waitress today. It was one of those cases of a movie ruined by its ending. I was loving it...the exquisite pies (during the opening sequence, all I could think was, "I want a banana!"), the snappy dialogue, the wacky friends, and Nathan Fillion. Then they had to spoil it with the ending. I was going to give it an A++ with distinction, but the ending brought it all the way down to a B.

They really should bring me in as an ending consultant.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Reunion!!

So D and I went to Brown for my tenth-year nostalgia fest. There's always this complicated mixture of happiness and sadness...it's fun going back to this place where we had incredible times (separately; we didn't know each other then, he was two years ahead). But you can't *really* go back and there's always a bit of sadness that goes with that.

We decided to stay in Motel 6 in Seekonk and save some major $...the hotels in Providence GOUGE you over Memorial Day weekend, knowing that 10,000,000 people are coming for various reunions AND graduation (this year, the class of '07 graduated and the classes of 2002, 1997, 1992, 1987, 1982, etc. reunited). But next time, we'll probably stay in the dorms. We had to take cabs between Seekonk and Providence constantly (which was still cheaper than staying in a Providence hotel), but...

One cab broke down within sight of the hotel exit. Through pedal-pumping, coasting downhill and sheer willpower, the driver got us there.

Another cabbie claimed to know how to get to the motel, but he didn't actually know the directions OR how to speak English. D kept suggesting that he get on his CB radio and get the 411, but he just said, "Radio Shack? Oh yes." This was at 1 in the morning, after Campus Dance. I wore the red dress, by the way. It seemed to go over well.

Cabs aside, we saw a lot of cool people. One of my friends is a librarian now and told me about librarything.com and the book Julia and Julia. It sounds interesting (a woman spends 365 days cooking Julia Child's recipes), but I think the lobster vivisection part would be too much for me. A guy who was always a character was wearing a silver-cravat type thing (he was sporting leather pants at our last reunion). A few people are married who weren't before and a few people have kids who didn't before. One girl was complaining that no one was single, and when I told D, he said, "Yes, most of them are double."

I thought that was cute.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

So I finished my sweater today:



The neck was a pain in the neck. I feel like I'll never want to knit a V-neck again. Of course, I probably will.

I saw the cutest dog today. It really looked like a friendly bear...black, with an abundance of fur. Everyone was stopping to pat it. I was hugging it and hanging out with it when the owner/father said, "Gotta go to work! Sorry!" I realized they can probably never go on a straight line from A to B without being stopped. Another girl was patting it before me and I saw some more women smiling at the doggie. It's probably a bonanza for the guy if he plays his cards right ;)

I still haven't decided which dress to wear to the reunion. I'm leaning toward the black. I guess I'm feeling understated. Also, an author I like is coming to the reunion! She graduated 10 years before me. I'd love to talk to her, but I don't want to stalk her. Hmm.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Still working on my sweater. I have to finish the second sleeve and then I can attach it all together. Wish me luck!

I finished my first "sock weight" sock (my other sock was made with heavier yarn, and therefore knit up faster).



And meet the newest member of the family:



A close-up of his adorable face:



I didn't knit this little guy; we got him at a store called Space Kiddets. We took him to dinner and B&N with us :)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Shrek the third

Well, D and I saw Shrek the Third tonight, and I really enjoyed it. I'm not sure why I loved it so much. Maybe part of it is that I went in with low expectations. Some critics said it had lost its steam and originality. But it was my favorite of the three!

It didn't hurt that there were some fun previews and lead-ins. I'm looking forward to Bee Movie, an animated flick with Jerry Seinfeld and Renee Zellweger providing the voices. Instead of a boring "please be quiet" announcement, they also had a bunch of singing frogs who sang to the tune of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine":

I bet you're planning what to say
To spoil the movie and ruin my day...
It's not like we can press rewind.

Everyone was giggling about that. I swear it got a better audience response than some of the previews. And yes, we're probably going to see that ridiculous movie where Steve Carell plays Noah and herds all the animals onto the ark. The animals are pretty cute.

So, anyway: Shrek. I feel like it all came together with this one. No Smashmouth songs, lots of cute fairy tale characters, and an awesome scene with Snow White. There was a transvestite princess with big hands and a deep voice...I'm not sure what fairy tale s/he came from. Maybe s/he was there just for fun?

It also had a really positive message and good pacing.

Bearette's grade: A+

Friday, May 18, 2007

Two for one

Well, you are getting two posts in one night, because Waspgoddess posted the interview meme on her blog and I wanted to play. Feel free to join in. If you'd like to interviewed, leave your email address in a comment, and I'll send you five questions; then you post the answers on your blog.

Here are WG's questions and my answers:

1. Are you a morning or a night person?

NIGHT. I looove to sleep in and unplug the phone and turn down the answering machine volume all the way before turning in for the night. Every once in a while I randomly wake up at 7 am and go for a bike ride or something, but for the most part, I'm a complete night owl.

2. What's the best thing that happened to you this week?

This is a toughie. I met numerous dogs, including 12-week-old miniature schanuzer Max and a super-friendly golden retriever who bumped my nose with his rump (he was turning around in excited circles). But top kudos have to go to:

a) tonight's Strand trip, where I got 6 books at half-price.
b) getting a $92 refund check from New York State (totally unexpectedly).

3. If you had a superpower, what would it be, and why?

I'd love to be able to teleport, out of embarrassing or boring situations, and also as a travel substitute. Imagine closing your eyes and opening them in a new place, without an Amtrak ride or a plane journey...

4. Favourite ice cream flavour?

This is hard too. My favorite Ben & Jerry's is Chunky Monkey, but I like banana and pumpkin at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory here in New York. I guess since banana appears twice (Chunky Monkey is banana-based), that's my favorite. I also like peppermint stick on occasion. Oh, but I also like that oatmeal cookie Ben & Jerry flavor. It's pretty new.

5. What single thing would improve the quality of your life?

I wouldn't mind coming into a few million. I'm not a big spender, but I would like to pay off my law school loans. I wouldn't mind publishing a book, either!
It's funny how a touch of henna can make my day better. (Side note: my mom told me she used to do a "henna rinse" to make her hair reddish. "Rinse" is a euphemism; you are actually creating a vaguely gross-looking paste to spread on your hair and leave on for a couple of hours.) However, it works magic. If I go too long between applications, I start to feel like a grey-streaked beast and my self-esteem plummets. After I've put it on...ta-dah!...my hair is dark brown ALL THE WAY TO THE ROOTS and I no longer feel like a grandmother. (Not that there is anything wrong with grandmothers, I'd just rather not feel like one when I'm 31 and don't even have any children.)

D and I hit the Strand tonight, where I got a bunch of books (all half-price), including Posh by Lucy Jackson, The Yummy Mummy by Polly Williams (complete with a preening author photo that proclaims, "I am a yummy mummy!" but I just thought, "Good for her!"), and Ask Again Later by Jill A. Davis, who used to write for Letterman.

As we passed a certain Starbucks in our cab, I saw this guy who is always there. "Maybe he has a passion for coffee," D suggested. He usually sits near the front window, sometimes coming out to stand on the sidewalk. He always wears a striped sweater and a sad look. I wonder what his story is; I'm sure he has one.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

This and that

1) For dinner tonight I had tomato bisque, a tomato-mozzarella-basil salad, and shared a piece of carrot cake with D. Mmm...

2) At home we watched Notes from the Underbelly on ABC. Despite/because of the fact that it was estrogen-soaked, I liked it. I read the book a while ago, but I can't really remember it. I think the show is less snarky and more upbeat. I especially liked the yoga teaching scene, where the male teacher adjusted everybody but one girl and she was upset. He soothed her by telling her she did the poses perfectly. Her triangle pose actually did look pretty good.

3) I'm working on a sock (with tiny, floss-like yarn) and a sweater. Here's the sock-in-progress and the finished back of the sweater (now I'm working on the front):




4) My college reunion is over Memorial Day weekend and I can't decide what to wear for Campus Dance on the first night. The top contenders (feel free to vote):


Monday, May 14, 2007

The one with 1,000 pictures

So I ended up taking quite a few pictures during the weekend (Saturday through Monday, to be precise).

Swampscott...


Bearette and the fabulous, beautiful Iggy:


Iggy and his brother:


The sea:


The beautiful bike we bought, to use when we go to MA (it rides like a dream):


The super-cute pink camera my sister gave my mom:


The hat I finished making for D:

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Grudges

So I'm in Massachusetts for Mother's Day weekend, and my youngest nephew is having his first communion tomorrow. Tonight, my mom, D and I went to Swampscott (a tony coastal town) to wander around and sample the local eats. I met a fabulous Hevanese named Iggy, and the little boy who was with Iggy was kind enough to take a picture of us. I also got some nice shots of the Swampscott beach and a little knit bunny my sister gave my mom. Since I don't have my USB cord here, I'll download them back in the city.

At dinner, Mom related the story about 2 feuding people at her job...Egbert and Gary. (Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.) A year ago, Gary got fed up with some stuff his boss, Egbert, was doing. Gary was foolhardy enough to send an email to Egbert, calling him out on his worst traits.

Egbert has not spoken to Gary since, except when it's absolutely necessary. Once Egbert was sick and had to ask Gary to take someone to lunch or something like that. Otherwise, he communicates by notes, hastily dropped in Gary's office when he's not there. If Gary's in the office, Egbert will back away and make silly small talk with whoever else is around. "Do you like your coat hanger?" he'll ask the other person.

If Egbert sees Gary at the other end of the hall, he'll beat a hasty retreat. Gary bought a pair of jingle bells so Egbert will know when he's coming. If Egbert sees Gary pulling into the parking lot, he'll drive a few minutes out of his way and come back, so they won't arrive together.

It strikes me that the whole thing is funny/sad. Egbert is 83, but he's acting like he's 8. I don't have energy for real grudges anymore. I still get mad at people, but maintaining the emotion is tough. I'm relieved.

Friday, May 11, 2007

This one's for the cat lovers

Tonight we visited Rainer in Brooklyn. He is such a good cat. As usual, he was crafty, heading for the other leg after I unfolded one in a vain attempt to get up. He always gets a little angry when I leave. He had a little more energy tonight than usual.

D picked up a funny gift for a friend, and also bought a card depicting Rainer. Here's a picture of the card:


Isn't he perfect?

The store opened in '99, and I believe he was born that year. So he is probably eight. I want him to live forever, so I went to Wikipedia to learn about the life expectancy of cats (14-20 years). Here are some other interesting tidbits:
  • The Latin name for the species is Felis catus.
  • Some cats sleep 20 hours a day. Rainer may be in this group! The average is 13-14 hours a day.
  • Due to their "crepuscular" nature (whatever that means), cats have oodles of energy in the morning and evening.
  • The male cat has spines on his penis! (Ouch.)
  • The female cats are superfecund, meaning that they may have more than one "gentleman caller" while they are in heat, and the kittens in a particular litter may have different fathers. I wonder if they have DNA tests, and if the male cats storm off in a rage if the babies are not their own ;)

A tale of three books

I got three books out of the library recently, and couldn't decide which one to start, so I dived into all three. My thoughts so far:

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I'm sure everyone has heard of this already, but for those who haven't, it's the nonfiction account of a writer who, in the wake of her divorce, decides to hit Italy, India and Indonesia and record her thoughts. I'm near the end of the Italy section and really enjoying it. I thought it might have a New-Agey or possibly holier-than-thou vibe, but it has the chatty intimacy of a good women's magazine article. (This is not putting it down at all...I like the informal voice.) I am shocked by her weight gain in Italy...23 lbs in 4 months! (It must be said I put on the freshman fifteen in college...in the first month.) But that was before I discovered yoga, with all its mindfulness (which really does prevent binges). I guess she is just a woman of extremes. A fun read, though. I recommend it.

Certainty by Madeleine Thien. This one had the Amazon editors oohing and aahing, so I decided to check it out. The writing is beautiful. Very spare and polished, kind of like you're reading a book-length poem. But the plot is just not grabbing me. So regretfully, I'm setting it aside.

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. This one makes you queasy, but reels you in. I decided not to go into the disturbing plot...but if you're curious, leave a comment and I'll give you the basic premise. It's truly original.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I love this thing

I just finished my first wrist warmer. So cozy:



This picture was taken using the new camera. The picture quality is about the same, I think, but the camera is much more user friendly.

A day at the dentist

Today I went to the dentist, and learned that my hygienist is pregnant. I'll miss her. I've known her for a while and I go there every 6 months. I guess I'm kind of averse to change.

It turned out she's due in a month, and you can barely tell by looking at her. The only thing that looks different is her stomach; face and arms are unchanged. She only gained 25 pounds! The label sticking out of her scrubs said Small. I was amazed.

The dentist came in for a little check at the end of the cleaning. I told him I was going to my college reunion on Memorial Day weekend, and he asked which one. "Tenth," I said, cringing. He started laughing and said he got a notice for his dental school reunion...25th. That made me feel a bit better. He looks younger than he is.

In other news, I noticed a lot of people took the DNA personality quiz on their blogs. I never got around to it, and then I took it today. I thought it was quite interesting and pretty accurate. So, if you like psychology/personality tests, you might want to check it out.

To view my results:
My Personal Dna Report


To take it yourself:
http://www.personaldna.com

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Exciting news

So D and I went to Angelica Kitchen for lunch today. This is one of my favorite vegan restaurants. Anyway, we walk in and who do we see but Parker Posey! Facing the door, directly in front of us. I nudged D.

Me: (sotto voce) There's Parker Posey!
D: Where?
Me: Right in front of us!
D: Where?
Me: THE BRUNETTE WITH THE CAMERA! RIGHT THERE!
The hostess: Right this way, please.

It was very exciting. PP is very petite and looks about 32 (though I think she is 38). She was eating with a blonde girl I didn't recognize, no one famous. For the rest of lunch, we fought the urge to stare. I never approach celebrities. I wouldn't know what to say, I wouldn't want to freak them out, and it feels gauche, somehow. Yet it is exciting to see them.

D thought her clothes were frumpy, but I thought they were fine (white flowered shirt, kind of baggy, with jeans). She wore her hair pulled back. When she left the restaurant, she put on a big pair of sunglasses. The restaurant has big plate glass windows, so we saw a woman recognize her outside. They had a brief conversation. She also had very fun, dramatic body language (sitting bolt upright, gesturing with her hands).

In other, less exciting but still good news, my new camera came today. My other one was too much of a diva to deal with, though it still works so I'll hold onto it. I think part of the problem was that I got it from some bargain site, and it didn't come with all the equipment it was supposed to, and may have been defective (I sent it back to get fixed several times, but they never replaced it, and it always needed to be fixed again.)

Anyway, the new camera is a Panasonic Lumix, quite fancy (by my standards anyhow). It has several "modes", including soft skin mode (in case you're feeling leathery that day) and party mode (complete with a glass of champagne).

In other, not awesome news (as Poppy would say), our building has no hot water. So I'm off to the gym to take a shower.*

*I tried taking one at home, remembering that Katharine Hepburn used to take cold showers in her youth. Not to dampen ardor, just as a tough New England thing, I guess. Well, she was made of sterner stuff than I am. That was painful! I hopped out after like a minute. Imagine being pelted with ice cubes.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Of ducks and tank tops

I finished my tank top today! Despite the gauge mishap, it fits fine. Maybe it would have been too boxy and big otherwise.



And Mom sent us an anniversary package. (Our wedding date was five years ago Friday.) I got a pink duck with lipstick marks and D got an Elwood Blues duck (from his favorite movie, The Blues Brothers). His duck is still in its packaging, since he's not home yet, but here's mine:

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Shopping, carpets and chocolate

A while ago, my MIL bought me a pink blazer. It was too short, so I went to TJ Maxx to exchange it for something else.

I generally avoid TJ Maxx and Filene's Basement like the plague, because you need a lot of patience to wade through the misses and get to the hits. (I like bargain shopping without the wade factor...Old Navy is an excellent case in point).

Anyway, I made my way to the bargain mecca and found a pink V-neck short-sleeved top I liked. I also saw a small doggy! I knelt down to pat it.

"Do you like shopping?" I inquired.

The owner said, "No!" in a very definite way. I was startled, and she asked, "Oh, did you ask if he liked carpet? He does." I said, "No, I asked if he liked shopping." Relieved, she said, "Yes! I thought you asked if he liked chocolate." (Chocolate is bad for doggies. I would never offer dogs food, since I know their gastric systems vary widely.)

As if on cue, the dog lay down on its back on the carpet and started rolling back and forth in ecstasy. I guess he gets a good scratch that way.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Spiderman has jumped the shark (maybe).

So we saw Spiderman tonight with D's sister, after sharing an apple galette with gelato. (Mmm.)

I was kind of underwhelmed by the movie, as was the rest of the audience, judging by the boos and people who left early. New Yorkers are very vocal in the theater.

Up till the end, I thought it was okay, if a little overstuffed and just not as exciting as #1 and #2. It had a been-there, done-that, already-been-chewed quality.

But then....

*Spoiler alert*

They killed off my favorite character.

*End of spoiler*

So I don't know if it's worth it to me to see Spiderman IV (and you know there will be one). But, who am I kidding, I probably will.

Grade: C+ (with hope for better in the future.)

Friday, May 04, 2007

Got gauge?

Gauge is an annoying concept in knitting where you have to get a certain number of stitches per inch. For scarves, hats, and mittens, in my experience anyway, it really doesn't matter.

I started making a tank top and saw that I was getting a few more stitches per inch than you're supposed to, making the tank top narrower than it should be.

However, I didn't feel like going out and buying bigger needles to "get gauge." Also, I reasoned that my existing tank tops are still narrower than the tank-top-in-progress, and they fit fine:





It should be okay, I hope. But I learned my lesson...I did two annoying gauge swatches and switched to a smaller needle to "get gauge" for my upcoming sweater.

Totally off-topic, but Paris Hilton is going to jail for 45 days. I wonder what she did now. Did she flash someone she shouldn't have? I think she needs to start wearing underwear.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

What cat are you?

My sister M sent me this link. I found out I am a Snowshoe:

The Snowshoe is gregarious and talkative. She is always ready for fun and will regularly try to instigate a game. While her strong intellect leads her to try new things, it also causes her to become easily bored when a task is mastered. Variety is truly the spice of life for this kitty! Affectionate with others, eager to interact, the Snowshoe is always the belle of the ball.

I like this description. And I definitely like variety. What kind of cat are you?

Also, in an interesting twist of fate, I will soon be teaching yoga to investment bankers. I just have to get certified in CPR and take a brief orientation.

Dreams...a two-pack

The night before last, I dreamed I was supposed to take ballroom dancing with a friend. Then my sister K showed up. "You have a softer face," he told her. I was annoyed ;)

Last night, I dreamed that I was home in Massachusetts (where I'm visiting over Mother's Day) and there were bunk beds in my room there. The top bunk was neatly covered with bags of tomatoes and stacks of books, almost as if I were preparing for an emergency. Some of the books were shrink-wrapped like the ones from the library. I peeked inside one and saw it was way overdue! I started to panic and checked inside again. There was a sale receipt...apparently I bought it at a library sale instead.

When I woke up, I still felt vaguely unsettled, and then I realized D is the one who has overdue library books.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Introducing...knitted slippers at Etsy!


So these slippers are up for grabs at Etsy (bearette24.etsy.com). They'll stretch to fit any women's size up to 9 1/2.