Saturday, June 30, 2007

Ratatouille

So D and I saw Ratatouille tonight. The line wrapped around the 4th floor and we were afraid it would be single seating only. But I saw two seats in what used to be the "reserved" section. The seats are a different color than the others, so I think people overlook that row. After we grabbed the seats, everyone else followed suit and the row filled up.

The movie was great. So creative and innovative. Everything Evan Almighty wasn't (D dragged me to see that one, and trust me, it was awful -- despite Steve Carell and Wanda Sykes).

I'm giving the movie an A- because of some credibility problems (yes, I am too picky) but the story was delightful and I think you should all see it tomorrow :) Or today, seeing as it's Saturday already...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Otis the pug

This entry is devoted to Otis the pug. I met a number of fun dogs tonight (a St. Bernard, a Welsh corgi, an adorable cockapoo and a sweet cocker spaniel), but Otis had a little story attached.

I was patting Otis while he eagerly sniffed the corner of a building. He was sporting a bright purple leash and halter. His body was like a little sausage. Then he jerked away from me and started barking ferociously.

"It's the sirens and the horns," his owner/mother explained. "They really freak him out. But he's lived in New York his whole life, so it's not like anything new..."

"What a good Otis," I said, contemplating him.

"He's a little bit psycho, actually," she told me.

Regardless of his mental health, his tail was curled tightly...which means he was happy!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

It's too hot to do much of anything here. So I thought I'd put up some pics of the latest knitting (excluding gifts):

Monday, June 25, 2007

We had an unwelcome guest in the bathroom tonight. I saw a big old cockroach (water bug?) on the shower wall. Great. Now I'll be afraid to shower.

I fled the bathroom and told D about our visitor. Catchwords for D:

calm
stable
even-keeled
relaxed
mellow

He just said, "Oh, I saw him...or maybe his brother? a couple days ago."

"You didn't tell me?!?!?"

"No, you were sleeping. I just opened the window to let the water evaporate."

Which brings us to the next issue. Cockroach...or water bug? I read somewhere that they're one and the same. D thinks waterbugs are a lazy subspecies that like to chill in the water. Which is what they seem to do. Whatever, they terrify me and I don't want them around.

I brought my toothbrush, toothpaste and floss to the kitchen to minimize bathroom time.

I remember my college roommate was visiting a few years ago. She was sleeping on the couch. The next morning, she told me she woke up in the middle of the night and heard me pleading, "Kill it! Throw it out!" I wonder if she thought it was real or thought it was all a dream. It does seem surreal, those words out of context.

Bugs have always scared me. I remember in college enlisting a friend's help to kill a centipede. He lobbed my dictionary at it.

Who kills bugs in your household?

Man whores and libraries

Today D and I ate outdoors at this cafe; we had veggie burgers and watermelon (!), and there were two dogs nearby. One was sitting on his owner's lap; the other was lying, sad-eyed, on the floor. I went over to hang out with it and the owner let her off her leash. The owner's friend explained, "That's Emma. She likes you!" Emma came over to our table, wagging her tail, and sniffed the onion on the floor but didn't eat it. The friend went on: "Joe [pointing to the lap dog] is a different story. He's a whore. He's a MAN WHORE. He just wants to be patted. But Emma is very particular. You know how you can tell when she's excited? She raises an eyebrow."

Afterward I went to the library, where I took out The School for Husbands (by Wendy Holden, a fun British writer); Touchy Subjects (short stories by Emma Donoghue, whose novel, Slammerkin, was very good but dark); and The Raw Shark Texts (which is huge, and I managed to drop it on my ankle).

It occurred to me that I am klutzy outside yoga, but coordinated when I'm teaching yoga. What gives? I realized there are no props for me to drop in yoga. Of course, some people use props in yoga, but I'm glad I don't use them for that reason! I think they just make stuff harder.

Has anyone noticed that Blogger forces you to type slowly now? Maybe it's due to the new auto-save feature. Or maybe it's my computer. Either way, it's frustrating, but maybe it forces me to think more about what I'm writing.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

So T and I went to see Knocked Up today. First we had brunch at a place I've never tried before (well, only for dinner). It had an enticing list of pancakes, so I figured it was worth a try. Unfortunately the pancakes were rubbery and the bananas were overripe...how can you mess up bananas? But the gay couple next to us adopted us, and provided plenty of tableside entertainment. One guy was waiting a long time for the other one to arrive. "I have 2 margaritas and they're both going to be gone by the time he gets here," he said, laughing. Turns out the other guy doesn't even drink!

The guy who was waiting had flowers for the other. "He's the first guy I've ever bought flowers for who didn't run in the opposite direction," he said. Meanwhile, the one who was late was filling us in on his ill family member (complete with names of the entire clan). So I told the one who had been waiting, and was still a little peeved: "He's committed to his family. He's a nice guy." He nodded and whispered to T, "She's right. I'm going to keep him." The other guy kissed our hands when we left!

The movie itself was pretty good. I gave the first half an A, the second half a B, and decided the whole thing got a B+. At first it was totally hilarious and ridiculous. Then they had to bust out the drama and seriousness. One woman in the movie didn't really know when to stop. She would get mad at her husband for getting pink cupcakes instead of yellow. Loosen up! Besides, everyone knows pink is better.

[Small spoiler]

Then she thought her husband was having an affair, and when she found out he was just playing fantasy baseball with his friends, she said, "That's worse!" Is she for real? I thought the fantasy baseball was fine. It bothered me much more when he had his nose in a stripper's butt, but maybe that's just me.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Because she can

I just finished reading Because She Can by Bridie Clark, which I really enjoyed. It's the story of a girl who works for publishing behemoth Judith Regan (who's fired now, anyway). In the novel, her name is Vivian Grant. It surprised me that the real Judith Regan didn't make an appearance in the text - a standard CYA move. In The Devil Wears Prada, Lauren Weisberger makes sure that Anna Wintour meets her fictional counterpart, Miranda Priestly -- and notes that Anna is "much nicer." Ha.

Anyway, I thought this book was much better. Very well written, and not long and bloated like Prada. Unfortunately, it probably won't get as much attention because Prada came out first and Anna Wintour is a bit higher-profile. But one can hope.

I lost my usual sun hat one day when I did CPR training (yoga-related), and D found me another one on eBay. I wasn't sure I could pull it off, but I got two compliments on it in one day! From random people off the street, no less.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Just when I thought I'd seen it all

I went biking on the path today...and here's the crowning crazy biker of the day. Are you sitting down?

I saw this guy weaving erratically all over the path. My first thought was: cell phone or drunk. But as I got closer, I saw that his head was tucked into his chest, with his eyes closed. You know, classic-male-relative-on-Thanksgiving pose.

But not on a La-Z-Boy. On a bike.

I said the obvious: "You shouldn't sleep on your bike!"

His head jerked up and his eyes snapped open.

Maybe he has narcolepsy.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Pretty boy, mayor of 7th Street.

Tonight D and I were eating outdoors and this beautiful, snow-white cat appeared out of nowhere, as if by magic. He came over and hung out near our table. I patted him and he stayed there quite a while.

The waiter did a double-take and said, "Where did that cat come from?" and then he said, "You can tell he's a city cat; he's not moving for anyone." The waiter had to walk around him to fill our glasses.

Then the waiter came back and announced that the cat was from the pet food store next door, "so if he's begging for food, it's an act!" The cat sparked more conversation as a flamboyant group arrived and its ringleader yelled, "He's from the pet food store next door! He owns 7th Street! He's eighteen years old! He goes up and down the street and eats at all the restaurants. He's very well-fed."

Eventually the cat got bored with me and walked home. I followed it and the owner told me, "His name is Pretty Boy, Mayor of 7th Street. Well, I call him Mayor of 7th Street. It's really just Pretty Boy. And that's Herbert." Herbert was a fun, fat, fluffy white cat with a slightly crazed face. When I said hi the first time, he said, "Rrow," and went away. The second time I greeted him, he yawned, showing me his big pink mouth.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Usually when someone's trying to kill me, it means I'm onto something.

Don't worry, no one is trying to kill me. It's just a line from the Nancy Drew movie we saw tonight.

Another favorite: "You're only happy when there's trouble." (Said affectionately by Ned to Nancy.)

They changed some things around from the book...there was a new, short, 12-year-old guy who tagged around after Nancy, and Bess and George were reduced to bit parts. Nancy was a bit of a fish out of water in L.A., but the salesgirls were quick to embrace her "sincere" look (a real turnaround from the snotty salesgirls in Pretty Woman...maybe an intentional parallel because Emma Roberts, who played Nancy, is Julia's niece). D thought the resemblance was so marked that she must be Julia's daughter...but I assured him that Julia's children, Hazel and Phinnaeus, are mere bebes.

I'm giving the movie a B+...it was a bit scary for me in its action/adventure sequences! Otherwise, it was wholesome and fun. I hope it finds more of a following on Saturday afternoon. The 9:35 pm Friday night crowd was scant.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The squirt, and short hair

We had dinner last night with a couple of friends, T and A (I know, I know ;). The waiter, whom I've known for a while, suddenly had wild, red bushy hair; the look was not unflattering, but made him seem like a mountain man. As he brought our dishes, he said, "You're the special nuggets, you're the five treasures, etc.," referring to us by our entree names.

This sparked a memory for him, which he shared. As a child, he was eating out with his family, and they all ordered sodas, which was a rare event, he said. They were all excited. The waiter brought them their drinks and said, "You must be the Coke, you must be the ___." Then he contemplated the youngest, who was small for his age, and said, "You must be the squirt." Everyone laughed and the poor kid was traumatized. The thing was, he actually did order a squirt. I think it was a grape soda of some kind.

I also got thinking about T's hair. She's worn it short for a while, and I thought, "Oh, she's keeping it short." The word "keeping" made me think that maintenance is involved. And that was when I realized I will never have short hair. I hate going to the hairdresser. I have yet to find a nice one and it's the one occasion where you pay to get something taken away. So it's probably been about a year since I've gone.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

It must be cute animal week.

I was on my way to Pilates and I saw a little rainbow of cocker spaniels: gold, brown and black. The black one made a beeline for me. He looked exactly like Liz's dog Alex.

Anyway, he came right over and lay on his back across my foot. The messages: "You're not going anywhere" and "Pat my belly." I complied.

Has anyone noticed how dogs don't like to share attention? If there are multiple dogs, they'll all rush over to you, but when you pat one of them, the other two slink away. They are, however, keeping their eyes peeled and they're ready to swoop in the second you stop patting the first dog.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Rainer chronicles

I know I already posted today, but I have to write a little bit about my friend Rainer. He is definitely my favorite cat. I visited him at the bookstore today. He jumped off this other girl's lap to get into mine, but I made friendly conversation with her to make up for it ;)

Today he started kneading right away. There's a place where my thigh meets my calf, just left of my knee, which he loves to knead with his paws. He purred a little bit -- a low, rusty sound -- as he did it. Then he turned to face me and eyed me speculatively. He decided his new favorite spot would be my right hipbone! So he kneaded that for the next few minutes. It was a really funny, tickly feeling; a bit like a massage, as an onlooker commented.

There was a dog there who looked like he wanted to eat Rainer! He kept licking his chops and straining forward on his leash. But I protected my cat :)

Bike path license exam

It was a real pleasure to ride my bike today, because it was a grey and overcast day. This means there weren't many people on the path. Usually, the path is clogged with crazy/dangerous people. (D and I have another name for them, but I won't say it here.)

To alleviate the situation, I've created a bike path license exam. This applies to bikers, pedestrians and skateboarders using the path. There is even a question for the mechanics who work on the streets leading to the path. Maybe the mayor will institute the exam when he's back from Bermuda. Some sample questions:

1) The bike path is divided into two lanes. Which lane do you choose?
a) The right
b) The left
c) Both! I like variety.

2) You're a pedestrian. Where do you go?
a) The pedestrian path.
b) The bike path. I like company.

3) Put differently, what does the sign, "No Pedestrians on Bike Path", mean to you?
a) Get off the path.
b) I dunno, I'm still sounding out consonants.

4) What is an appropriate speed for the path?
a) 100 mph.
b) 150 mph.
c) 200 mph. I like to live on the edge. I also wear tight black spandex shorts that show every bulge in my anatomy.
d) 14 mph.

5) When passing, how much space should be allowed between you and the other person?
a) 1/4 inch.
b) 1/8 inch.
c) None! I like personal contact.
d) A foot.

6) You're passing someone but they're unaware of your presence and you might clip them. What do you do?
a) Proceed.
b) Say "On your left" in a conversational tone.
c) Bellow "On your left" into their left ear, loud enough to guarantee a hearing-aid purchase that day.

7) There's a crossing guard at the junction near Chelsea Piers. How do you react to him?
a) I listen.
b) I ignore.

8) If you're wheeling a large object (i.e., a bicycle or a Maclaren stroller the size of a small house), it's cool to stand in the middle of the path and chat with a friend.
a) True
b) False

9) There's a yellow line down the center of the path, separating the two lanes. The yellow line is for skateboarders, so they can soar into the air and land in front of bikers abruptly and without warning.
a) True
b) False

10) The bike path is a good place to bring your three-year-old daughter who has just learned to ride her tricycle and doesn't really get the "lanes" concept. Childhood should be without boundaries; it's cool that she veers everywhere.
a) True
b) False

11) There's a low stone wall flanking the path at certain points. How do you feel about it?
a) It's decorative.
b) I like to sit on it.
c) I like to sit on it and jump in front of bikers. Woo!

12) You're a pedestrian. You like to stop short in front of bikers and laugh, or creep up on them and say, "Boo." This behavior is:
a) cute and witty
b) annoying
c) creepy

13) How do you feel about head-on collisions?
a) I avoid them.
b) They're cool. I like sitting in the St. Vincent's waiting room, moaning in pain, while the nurses play poker.

14) You're a mechanic working on the streets near the bike path. You see a biker on the sidewalk heading to the path. You:
a) Park your car on the street.
b) Park your car on the sidewalk.
c) Park your car on the sidewalk, but chase the biker for a bit. It adds excitement to the day.

And finally, for research purposes only:

15) At one point, there is a sign that says, "To cross street, press button and wait for light." Do you believe the button causes the light to change?
a) Yes
b) No

Monday, June 11, 2007

So I got the ring resized today. I went up to the diamond district and went into one of the old-fashioned jewelry stores, where customer service has meaning. It was pretty cool. The guy who waited on me sat in a little cubicle. He had cheesy 80s swimsuit shots up, but with LOTS of jewelry on them. In addition to big hair, the girls had about 80 gold necklaces between them, not to mention huge, dangly earrings. It cracked me up.

He tossed me one of those huge collections of metal rings that you use to find your size. Amazingly, it goes all the way down to 1...for children? I was a 5 (noting it here so I'll remember). Then he slipped the ring on a long phallic thing to verify that it was a 6. (The ring was a size too big, hence the resizing.) The phallic thing was scored with lines so you could measure. It actually looked more like 5 3/4.

Then he took a tool with a thin blue flame coming out of one end and just burned through the ring. He did something else I couldn't see, then used a small whirring circular tool to finish it off somehow. The whole operation cost $10.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

So last night we went to Dumont and the Rainer bookstore with DG. It was fabulous to see Rainer, as always. He abandoned some other girl to come over to me. (I know, it's unseemly to be happy about that...but I am. I like being his favorite :) And when I left, he cried. Just once, but it was really heartbreaking. I patted him some more and promised him I'd come back. And then he calmed down.

We shared 2 desserts at the resto...apple crumble and chocolate chip cookie. Surprisingly, I preferred the cookie. I usually like the fruit-based desserts, but it was just not sweet enough.

I have a quantity of yarn that I intended to use for a sweater, but I ended up using other yarn. So now I'm making hats and other accessories to use it up. I've done two hats with it so far. Hats are probably my favorite thing to knit. Simple, but they can embellished. And they don't take too long.



One more thing. I had mentioned librarything.com before. Well, it's this fun (and incredibly nerdy!) tool you can use to catalogue all your books. You can include books you've read, own, or want to read. I'm trying to include all the books I can remember, but there's one I can only half-remember, and it's nagging at me. It was set in the revolutionary war period and there were soldiers quartered in the girl's house. I think it was published by Dell Yearling. Either YA or children's. I also think the author was named Rebecca, but I could be wrong. Has anybody heard of it?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Come to the dark side; we have cookies.

Today was a stressful day. Nothing too major-league, just piles of annoyances on top of each other.

Example: I was on my way to teach class, and I was slowed down on the subway stairs by some chick mincing down the steps in high heels. I tried my best to get around her, but she was waving her arms around and making it pretty much impossible. Finally I got past her, sprinted to the train, and the doors closed, inches away from my face. The next train took...

Still waiting...

Still waiting...

Twenty minutes.

I was ten minutes late to teach class. To make matters worse, 80 people got on the elevator and they pressed every button.

Yup.

God was not smiling upon me today.

So I thought, "This is a day of infamy," and got to thinking: Hey, is this Pearl Harbor Day? But no, it was December 7, 1941. D checked on Wikipedia.

But all is not lost. I finished my shrug:



And got this shirt:



And here are the shirts I got yesterday, per Kitkat's request:



Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Rings and things

I was walking around today and a pink polka dot tank top in a store window caught my eye. So of course I went in. I got two tops, a ring and two gifts. The presents are for someone who has mad gift skills and is therefore difficult to shop for. You feel like your offerings will be horribly inadequate. I was pleased with what I got for her, though. D and I are maintaining a gift drawer so we can buy presents in advance and keep them there.

The tab came to $69 but $28 plus tax was for the gifts, and unselfish spending doesn't count, right? That's the way I like to look at it.

Anyway, I think I'm a ring size 5, and this is a 6. They didn't have the one I liked in a 5. It slides around on my finger a bit, but it's not in danger of falling off. So you're going to help me decide whether I should get it "ensmallened" or not.

Comparison with my other rings. The new ring is on the far right:



The ring on my hand:


Actually, the sliding around is annoying, so I'll probably get it resized. But your opinion is welcome :)

Monday, June 04, 2007

Billy's Bakery

I tried Billy's Bakery tonight and really enjoyed it. They have reassuring mint walls and pastry cases full of goodies. They even had a basket of two-for-one blueberry muffins (perhaps they were getting long in the tooth), but they couldn't compete with the cupcakes.
I got a yellow cupcake with pink icing. Even though both Billy's and Magnolia claim that all the colors are vanilla buttercream icing and therefore taste the same, I think the pink tastes better.

I got it to stay, but the tables were all full, so I made my way to the door, with D at my side. He pressed the door closed so I couldn't go out and started to grab my plate.

Me: What are you doing? (thinking: if you want a piece, I'll give it to you; no need to trap me here).

He explained later that he thought the plate was fancy china and we shouldn't leave the store with it.

It was plastic.
It's kind of grey and lifeless, weather-wise, in New York. In a way I like it, because when it's sunny and warm, I feel obligated to go outside. When it's cloudy, I can wander outside, but it's not required and there are fewer people :)

(Yes, I don't like large groups, yet I always score as an extrovert on those personality tests. Hmm. Maybe I am an "intimate extrovert.")

Have become addicted to librarything.com. I don't know why. It's a place where you can catalogue whichever books you want (ones you've read, loved, hated or want to read). For some reason, I got hooked.

Am currently knitting a sea-foam green shrug (a thingy you can put on your shoulders, with a little back and front). I'll put up a picture when I'm done. I realized socks and me are not really meant to be...I get bored with the slow progress on #3 needles using floss-like yarn.

We went to DG's birthday party on Saturday night. There were three distinct groups at the party: journalists; me, D, and a little posse I carved out on the couch, consisting of a girl C and her husband; and fashionistas. The fashionistas disquieted me, and it took me a while to figure out why. None of them had hips.

On the way home, C and I saw a T-shirt in a window. It was black with white letters: "Come to the dark side...we have cookies." It showed a smiling, friendly-looking devil hugging a big plate of cookies. Unfortunately, I've checked a couple locations of the store and they don't have the T-shirt inside. Maybe I should buy the one in the window.

Friday, June 01, 2007

New tank top and dessert

Here is my newest knitted tank top:



At first, I was displeased with it. I used 3 skeins left over from my sweater, but one of them had patches of discoloration, which became little grey stitches. Then I realized I could do "duplicate stitches" -- i.e., use a darning needle to put yarn over the offending stitches.

You might ask: "Why didn't you return the yarn, Bearette?"

Answer: The yarn is non-returnable after you have them spin it into a ball for you. Plus, I had already done a bunch of knitting by the time the spots appeared.

The tank top also called for crochet. The straps are chain stitch and the edges are single crochet.

Also, I had a really good dessert tonight. It was a little bowl of puff pastry, half-filled with maple almond custard (but it was vegan, so no eggs) and splashed with berries. Yum.