Friday, September 17, 2010

Where's Toto?

So I thought I was having a crappy day yesterday.   Got up and just felt "off."  No headache, not any specific ailment I could point to, but just ....not quite right.  It was a yucky cloudy day and I was so tired and really had to just drag my sorry ass out of bed.  Luckily I work from home often, so my 20 foot commute was most welcome.  I signed on and my internet connection was just wonky.  For some reason my network wasn't working so I had the pleasure of having to access a kind neighbor's open network (thank you Roger's Guest Network, whoever you are).   Then I was on a conference call for 3 hours, and nothing was accomplished, another call for 2 hours--yup, nothing accomplished.  Got some more things done and before you know it 5:00pm rolled around.  Still not feeling "right", I thought, yup a nice warm shower followed by a hot cup of tea while snuggled on the couch sounded good.  Got in the shower, and got  as far as lathering up my armpits before my dog began barking like a crazy woman and whimpering. Immediately I thought, "she's hurt herself."  I grabbed a towel and ran to the living room just in time to see the sky turn an algae green to a deep black and a howling wind along with constant bursts of lightening.  Then I started seeing branches coming off of trees and then trees snapping intwo like twigs, and then trees started to get uprooted.  Then I thought, "fuck, this looks like a tornado," got away from the large window put on jeans and went out into the hallway.  The 1 year old shih tzu next door was whining and barking like crazy,  so with her mom's permission, I brought her over.  She and Lulu respected each other's space, although Lulu did "continually supervise" her from atop the couch.  Within less than 5 minutes the storm passed over and it was all over.

Apparently, the National Weather Service had issued a tornado alert prior to this storm.  It would have been good to know, HAD I been watching tv or listening to the radio.  Oh well.  I probably would have thought---"yeah, tornados don't happen in NYC."  WRONG!

So the aftermath looks like this...

We're doing fine.  Luckily we had no damage to our place.  Some of our neighbors had their windows blown out and balcony furniture strewn out onto the street (found several blocks away).  Unfortunately, there was one fatality.  One poor lady had a tree fall in her car and she was killed instantly.  Another highrise apartment building two blocks away had a wall collapse in between two apartments!  Funny enough, a mere 2 miles away--no damage whatsoever!  

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Never Forget


The Towers

I was on the bus heading home and the route inevitably took me to the site of the World Trade Center.  Each time I pass by there, I get a lump in my throat.  It's impossible for anyone who lived through that time, to not feel affected by it.  Passing by there today was worse than the average day.  Every 9/11 the old feelings of extreme vulnerability, fear, guilt, relief, rawness, and sadness felt that day resurface.  The anxiety and frustration of the constant calls in the vain attempt to reach a loved one only to hear a busy signal or a recording saying that your call could not get through.  The feeling of heaviness in my heart as I looked out the window that day and seeing those behemoth landmarks crumble and take with them the lives of 2000+ innocent people in one morning.   

I walked home that day because all buses and subways leaving Manhattan were stopped.  Cars crossing the bridges out of Manhattan would stop and drivers would offer rides to the elderly or disabled.  Complete strangers hugged and comforted each other.  At the other side of the bridge people provide bottled water and assistance to the "bridge walkers."  It was an awful day, but I also saw another side of people that day.  A humanity that seemed to have been lost, reappeared that day.  It's a shame that over the last 9 years we've reverted back to how we were before.

In 1982

1982 in the courtyard between the towers.  This sculpture, now battered, stands a few blocks away at Battery Park.
with my mom, on the rooftop observation deck
with my dad, sitting at the observation deck

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Goodbye to blogless-blog month

Outside my window at 11:59pm 8/31/10

It is now September-where did the summer go??  Anyone else feel like buying a composition notebook, a #2 pencil, and a 64 box of crayons with the built in sharpener?

I LOVED the smell of these badboys!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mid Year Recap

So at the beginning of 2010 I resolved to do a few things I wanted to or knew I should do for either physical or mental well being.

1- knit a vest.  Ok, I did not do this yet.  HOWEVER, I knit a short-sleeved cardigan, which in my book is at least as hard as knitting a vest.  While I wasn't thrilled with the results, I completed it.  I cast on, I worked my way through it, I had help from a fantastic knitter  who helped me understand the math and gave me the confidence to not rely completely on the pattern.  More importantly, I learned from this project.  I haven't knitted any other cardigans, but its given me some confidence to try some more "difficult" patterns that I was too intimidated to try before.

2-knit a cardigan-Done!

3-plan two long weekends away- ok, Rhinebeck, NY here we come!  In late December 2009 I reserved a room at the Rhinecliff hotel in order to enjoy the views and scenery of upstate NY (or at least upstate to me!) and coincidentally be around the area for the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival!
UPDATE:In December, when I reserved the room at the Rhinecliff I got an e-mail back saying
"We currently accept reservations 4 months in advance and have not yet opened our entire 2010 reservation book. I will tentatively "hold" a room for you for next October and will follow up with you in late spring to confirm this reservation."
Of course no one got back to me, so I called the hotel directly today and made reservations.  I then got an an e-mail back saying "We can not accept your reservation because we are fully committed already for the dates. The person you spoke with did not know this at the time you were on the phone, and again I am extremely sorry for the confusion. As previously stated I will keep you on the top of our waitlist, so should someone cancel we can go ahead and give you that room."
Wow, what a way to run a business.  Talk about lack of customer service.  That will be the LAST time I even attempt to go to this place.  You would think I was trying to score a free room from this place!  Very annoying.  Oh, well..I TRIED, TWICE - does that count towards my new year's goals?

As an aside we just got back a couple of weeks ago from a week in Cape Cod.  It was just restful and gorgeous, as only Cape Cod can be!  Here's some photographic evidence of our relaxation:

Here's just eye candy of the lovely vistas in Martha's Vineyard
Black Dog Tavern in Vineyardhaven, Martha's Vineyard, which according to my husband who is not allergic to shellfish has the most AMAZING chowder (or is it chowdah in New England?)

Gay Head Cliffs in Aquinnah in Martha's Vineyard.  Breathtaking clay cliffs.

Of course, prior to the Cape I had to go to a meeting in arguably on of the prettiest places I have ever been- Banff, Alberta, Canada.

The was so gorgeous it almost looked fake.

..and yeah, we managed to do touristy stuff as well!

ok, ok, back to my mid year review...
4-work out or go out for a long walk at least twice a week.  EPIC FAILURE!  Between  changing jobs and stress eating I put on weight AND had the gall to NOT do any exercise.    

5-Blog- So far so good.  
Thanks for keeping me honest, out there!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Blog-less Blog

This fellow blogger has the right idea.  " Here’s the plan for the August break: you simply share one photo per day on your blog – Monday to Friday, or every day. Or whenever you want. Using any camera – DSLR, compact, Polaroid, Holga, iPhone (my choice), Instax, 35mm, video – with or without words – anything goes – for the whole of August. No pressure -  just looking at August through your camera lens as a way to be more present this summer. And to have a little break from the pressures and expectations of regular blogging"

So starting August 1st, there will be a daily photo with just a caption or photo title, meant to convey my mood, what I find appealing, or anything I please.  Very freeing!  Please feel free to comment on any photo!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dog Days of Summer

It's too hot for words.  It's 103 degrees.... and humid... at 4:00 pm.  No one should ever endure that.  I stayed in the a/c all day long as did my dog.  Despite that, she still felt hot.  I think it's all the fur.  This is her best "I'm hot and I blame you for that" look.  Yes, she's getting a haircut on Sat.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

25 Things You May Not Know About Me...

Here ate 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about me.

1. I never learned how to swim despite having almost drowned in Sesame Place when I was 10.

2. I’ve lived in NY since I was 4. I always wanted to live somewhere else and experience new things. However, when I finally moved away and lived in PA for 3 years-it ended up being a very bad experience.

3. The only good thing to come from living in PA and going to law school was meeting my husband.

4. The older I get the more cynical I am about people and their motives for doing things. I don’t have a large circle of friends, but the ones I do have I am thankful for and their friendship means a lot to me.

5. I am not a huge fan of chocolate, but I love apple or key lime pie and anything with caramel.

6. I am a die hard Mets fan and have been since I was in elementary school. I always find it funny when fans of other teams feel compelled to criticize the Mets due to their “underdog” status—get a life!

7. I lost 2 pregnancies in the past 12 months and can't decide whether I can go through that again, both physically and emotionally.  This decision keeps me up nights and I think about this daily.

8. I kind of fell into the career I have, but it never felt like it was the right fit for me-I just feel it’s too late to change now.

9. I am a dog person and really love having my dog. I’m always amazed at how happy she is to see my husband and me every day when we get home. No matter how bad my day was, she always makes me smile.

10. I hate long car rides. Any more than three hours in a car and I go stir crazy.

11. I measure how good any vacation is by determining whether or not I could see myself living in that location. So far, San Francisco, Napa, and Paris are my top destinations.

12. I can easily sleep 10 hours a day, but I can never fall asleep earlier than 11:30 or take a nap throughout the day.

13. I was obsessed with Wonder Woman when I was a little kid and really believed that if I tried hard enough I could somehow “channel” her superpowers. As a result, I lost a baby tooth by leaping off a very high concrete front stoop and have had many other lose calls.

14. I really enjoy photography and always regretted never having taken any photography classes.

15. I like how massages ultimately make my stiff muscles/joints feel, but I hate it while I’m getting them.

16. In case time travel is ever an option- I would love to meet my husband as a little kid. He’s led a very interesting life and it would be cool to meet him in his formative years.

17. I had been dating my husband for one month before we moved in together-which lead to us eloping 2 years later. This was definitely out of character for me, but it was the best decision I ever made and I have never regretted it.

18. My favorite color is a deep brick red.  For any fellow knitters out there, Madelinetosh's colorway, tart, is the best red ever.

19. Whenever I crave comfort food my mom’s Cuban food is exactly what I need.

20. I don’t go to church nor do I consider myself a religious person, but I always say a little prayer in my head when my flight takes off.

21. I’d rather watch a movie in the comfort of my home than be stuck sitting near someone who won’t shut up during the whole movie—or worse yet, getting stuck having to sit in the first row because there aren’t enough seats.

22. English is not my first language. To this day I still have trouble saying certain words in English.

23. I suck at making small talk with strangers, which is why I always hit the nearest bar before being stuck in those situations. Alcohol truly is the best social lubricant.

24. Since falling down the subway stairs and breaking my wrist I have ridiculous fear of falling and as a result go down stairs so slowly you’d think I was 90.

25. I can’t stand the taste of liver, onions, or capers. 

Currently reading:The Girl Who Played with Fire 
Currently listening to: Lost

Just returned from Banff and it was amazing.  More on this trip later, but I'll leave you with a few lovely pictures:

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Memory Lane

I am rarely without my I-Pod, before that it was a walkman, before that a tape deck, and before that a record player.  I love music.  For me music is what allows a moment in time to become a special memory and imprint itself into my being.  I don't remember much about prom night (no I wasn't drunk!) but I remember dancing to the Lady in Red.  I remember  the summer of 1999 and the nostalgia and angst I felt while was home in NY and my boyfriend was in PA.   Sarah Mclachlan's "I Love You" played in my tape deck all summer long and served as the soundtrack to the dizzying and enchanting feeling of truly falling in love for the first time.  I held hands with that same man, now my husband, and pregnant with our child 8 years later as we sat iand listened to Ray LaMontagne and his guitar timestamp yet another memory into my brain.  

Over time, I've began another secret love affair -with photography.  I love photos.  I love recording my personal piece of history.  Whether I take a picture of the Eiffel Tower, or of a particularly interesting scene during the course of a day, it serves to remind me of where I was, how I thought, and what interests I had at the time.  They also serve to help create a bond to people who's I've never met, but whose existence allowed me to be here today.  As the saying goes, "a pictures really does say a thousand words."

My father recently found some old family photos I had never seen before.  It was great to see where I came from starting with an amazing photo of my great-grandfather and my great-great grandfather!  Never got to meet these gentlemen, but what a crazy find this was!

My paternal great grandmother (Caridad).  Who I  did get to meet and know until she passes away when I was a teenager.

Maternal Great Grandmother (Delores) holding my dad.  I did get to meet her when I was an infant.

and these 2 cuties who grew up to bring me into this world: My dad (Oscar)

My mom (Miriam)

Ok bored you enough with my trip down memory lane.  Have you had a moment in time that was perfectly captured by film or by a song?


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I hate vegetables.  Ok, not all of them, but I am not a healthy eater and as such, I hardly eat any fruits and veggies.  As a matter of fact, I would consider the tomato snuggled between the hamburger patty and the bacon one of the few veggies I eat.  I know!  BAD!  So imagine my surprise when I suggested a salad to my hubby/cook, which he made and I a loved LURVED it!  Out in the faceless world of cyberspace is a woman who lives a few mere miles from me who writes a popular blog.  She tests out recipes posts the results and takes drool-wrothy shots of her creations.  This past week she made a delish cabbage and lime salad with roasted peanuts.  Suffice it to say I have had my heaping share of veggies for 2 nights in a row.  

I of course attribute my new found veggie consumption to be why I was in such a good mood today.  It's either that or the fact that Charlaine Harris' new book (part of the True Blood series)  came out tonight.  Or the massive amounts of yarn porn (yes it's porn when you just like petting them and staring at them, but you have too many skeins of yarn to knit with in a lifetime.  Also, the sheer quantity is obscene) that I seem to have acquired in the last year or so.  At the urging of my next door neighbor/knitter extraordinare (story of how we met is forthcoming), I began a sweater in early March.  As you will recall knitting a sweater was one of my goals for 2010.  I am pleased to say I have finished the  So the things I like about it are: it actually fits and it's a beautiful blood red color.  What I don't like so much--it's got cap sleeves and they do this weird flutter thing which I don't think it's supposed to do, and it looks unflattering as hell.  Plus, my buttonhole-making technique was seriously lacking!  All in all, I'm glad I did it, I will make another sweater before year end, and it was a good experience.  Anyway, behold my Shalom:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

BAD Blogger

Yes, I know, so very bad.  It's not like there's been anything up or anything, like ...a new job!  Yes, after 7 long years at my old job I made a move.  So far it seems like a nice enough place.  There's been meetings, and more meetings, and meetings in Chicago.

I'm a bit meetinged out.  I do like what I'm doing, but wow, I feel like that kid that just switched schools mid year; everything is shiny and new, but you keep forgetting your locker combination and you don't know who the "cool kids" are yet.

We also had a heck of a long weekend, last week.  Hubby's sister, her BF, and their 4 y/o daughter, came into town.

We went to various kid-friendly spots (Natural History Museum, Bronx Zoo, etc)  It is amazing how a little more activity and a change in routine tire me out.  I am mentally and physically exhausted beyond belief.

I guess generally I have really been feeling burned out mentally and physically.  I know job changes are stressful.  I also had the one year anniversary of the loss of our first pregnancy in March.  I've just been noticing how little things that are of no significance are bothering me more than they should.  I'm also not a very girly girl, but I've recently been very quick to cry over ANYTHING.  It really feels like I can't get excited or happy or optimistic about anything All this, plus my usual lack of sleep, just makes me a delightful person to be around.

Anyone have a good suggestion for getting over this kind of blah feeling hump?  Even Spring hasn't done much to raise the spirits.

Monday, March 1, 2010

So I went from this:

To this:

Which earned me this:

 Woo hoo!  February has been a very stressful month for many reasons that I just don't want to even go into, but this was a bright spot and a great way to end the month!  I started the Gaenor Shawl 2 days after the start of the Olympics and bound off at 1:50 pm today.  I cut it a bit close because 1) I am a slow ass knitter 2) I started 2 days late 3) I forced myself to finish my Valentine's Saroyan before starting this, and 4) it's just been a crazy month personally.  So while I initially thought that the whole Ravelympics thing wasn't for me, I am very glad to have participated and completed.

On my list of other things that caused me joy this month are:
I love historical novels about NY and this has really been a great read!

Madelinetosh Etsy Site - because let's face it, if you're as obsessed with yarn as I am, spending hours stalking a website and making split second yarn purchasing decisions is just plain fun.  Buying yarn from this site should be an Olympic sport with the amount of competition there is for these babies.

The Kindle.  If you commute on public transportation, you know how important it is to have one less bulky thing in your purse.  I just love having access to thousands of books in this little device without weighing down my bag!

After the weather we've been having (2 whole days of snow last Wed and Thurs!) I hope March brings us some warmer weather!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Simple requests..

Ummm, yeah hi, 2010, go to hell.  Seriously, last year sucked enough, can you stop throwing my life into a tailspin over and over again??  So now that I'm filled with emotional baggage and am more fragile emotionally than I know how to deal with and you have the nerve to pile on more crap and change?  Stop.  Please?  I seriously need to coast right now.   I need for my mind to not be in a 100 different directions.  I just need some inner peace an tranquility.  Is that on sale somewhere? If so, I need about 10 year's worth ASAP.  For the next few months I'd like to not have comfort anyone, not deal with health issues (mine or others), not feel like crying at the drop of a hat, not feel like my world is going to end, not think about dead babies and painful medical procedures, and not feel like I'm constantly at a crossroads in my life and having to make life altering decisions.  Oh, and I'd like to be able to sleep.  I know, I know, I'm a selfish bitch.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


This past Sunday marked the the tenth birthday I've spent with my husband (his 35th).  We went to a great restaurant which is located on a working farm and almost all the ingredients are fresh from that farm.  There's actually no set menu, instead there is a list of ingredients listed on the menu which the chefs can choose from to create a meal (or 8 courses!) of their choice.  They ask you if you have any food allergies (me-shellfish *sigh*) and then they ask you if there are any ingredients you would rather not have.  Being the culinary adventurous couple we are, we opted for an anything goes approach.  The most "exotic" course were the sweetbreads, but every course was a delight to the senses.  Great presentation, lovely smells, and amazing flavors.  I tried taking some photos with the hubby's I-Phone, but it was way too dark, so this was the best I could do.

What has been your favorite meal or restaurant, and what made it so special?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Twenty Ten or Two Thousand Ten?

Which one is it?  And do you just call it "ten" for short?
My new year began with a 24 hour marathon of Pushing Daisies on DVD.

 Did anyone get to watch that show?  I was obsessed.  Between the knitting obsessed private detective and the awesome pies and cute bakery shop-how could you not love it?!

Then 5 minutes prior to midnight we switched over to the live telecast of Times Square on NY1 and watched 2009 be put to rest. DON'T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU IN THE WAY OUT '09!   My lovely husband got some champagne and cheese and that's what we had after midnight.

My adorable little dog, Lulu, found herself snuggling with her new toy at midnight.

I also present to you my first FO for the new year!

Yes, I made the ubiquitous Clapotis which has been all the rage on Ravelry for years.  It was made with gorgeous Sundara ASM in Toasted Orange Over Pistachio.  I love the yarn I was a little disappointed with how small the clap was.  I followed the pattern to the letter, but maybe I didn't block it enough.  Who knows?  Regardless, it was a project that I was scared of tackling in April of '09, so it's nice to have gotten over my fear of knitting anything other than a scarf.  If I ever make another I will make modifications to the pattern to make it longer.

I've also cast on for  two other projects.  The Irish hiking scarf using Madelinetosh Worsted in Moorland, and Snapdragon tam in Madelinetosh Merino in Tart.  Can I just say, I am obsessed with the Tart colorway.  It reminds me of the color red velvet cupcakes...yumm....

I've also been scanning the usual knitblogs and came across Funky Carolina's post about what inspires her.  She posted an amazing youtube video featuring Ray LaMontage and Damien Rice (swoon!).  I just saw Ray LaMontagne at the Beacon Theatre this past November, and he was even more amazing live.  For those who have not yet heard of Ray, I recommend you check him out. Ray & Damien