Monday, October 31, 2005

The Sweet Smell of Victory

The Dark Rainbows won the Black Top Street Hockey semi-finals!!!! It was a close one, but we kicked some What the Puck ass, 4-3. Now, next sunday, in front of the entire league, we will be playing in the championship game against Pork Fried Rice / New York Cty Street (yes, that's really their name).

Last year the Dark Rainbows were an expansion team. In our first season we advanced as far as the semi-finals in the playoffs, but we lost. Though we came back to secure third place, we watched the championship game from the sidelines, all wishing it was Pink on that court. This year there will be Pink on that court, and a crowd cheering for the Rainbows. We have earned it.

There are two important factors that will hopefully aid us in winning, not to mention, making it all the more cool:

  1. PFR/NYC "recruited", thus creating a traitor of, one of our better players from last season. Who, I might add, was awarded the title of league MVP last season, with the support of the Rainbows. Victory will say to Ed what we all really want to, "Suckah, don't you wish you hadn't betrayed the mighty Rainbows for your pussy-ass team that can't make up its mind about its name!?"
  2. The Rainbows are not the only team who lost a player to PFR/NYC Street. They are an "all-star" team of sorts, composed of stolen players. They are not about the fun, as the league is meant to be, but the winning. So, with no spirit and poor team attendance at many games, they have comfortably ridden the season out in first place. The Rainbows will be the crowd favorite. We will have support and hope to be the victorious challengers.
Look out PRF/NYC Street, the DR's are coming to show you all what we think of you.

I can smell the vicory, and it is sweet.

You can see more BTSH photos here. Look for the pink.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Like Steak on a Saturday Night

You never really understand the meaning of TGIF until you have worked an entire week from 9am (ish) to 6pm in a corporate cubicle hell such as I have this week. Here I sit, wasting time, wandering through cyberspace instead of executing the crappy Powerpoint and stock-photography based designs I have been assigned. Knowing that it is Friday, the weekend is just hours away, is the one thing that keeps me carrying on.

I can't wait.

There are halloween parties and costumes on the horizon, a shopping outing (worth sticking it out in a crappy, flourescent-lit office for) and game #2 of the
BTSH playoffs, in which the Dark Rainbows are only two wins away from first place! I intend to visit Cooper-Hewitt's
Extreme Textiles show before it comes down, and tomorrow morning is yet another veggie pick-up.

But right now, I am painfully watching the minutes tick by in the upper-left hand corner of the computer screen I have been glued to since this morning. Forget Fridays, Friday is halfway over and this one has been sucky thus far. I say, Thank God for Saturdays. Tomorrow, will be a lovely day.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Brooklyn Rules

You should read this article about the growing gentrification (affectionately referred to as L-ification) of Williamsburg and beyond. It will tell you a lot about the place where Brad and I live. Why we need more space, can't necessaily afford more space, want to buy, can't buy, want to move, don't want to move and feel all along like we are in the center of the a thing that could explode into either heaven or hell any day now.

The real estate market sucks for us as we watch the new "luxury" buildings grow and are gradually getting priced out of our neighborhood; out meaning east, as in further away from the great isle of Manhatten into the abyss of Long Island. But, it is really fun to live in Williamsburg! Our dog has a park, we actually know some of our neighbors, we eat in great restaurants, I love the trendy shopping and should we be in the mood, there are plenty of spots to grab a tasty pint of beer in the company of other young people.

Coincidentally, right now I am reading
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. It is a story that carries you through the same streets of Williamsburg as the article above, through the eyes of an 11 year old girl nearly 100 years ago. Obviously a lot has changed, but I am noticing that there are many reminders of the old days that still remain, if you can just look past the hipsters.


No, it's not Thanksgiving yet!

I am sitting here, fiercely resisting the urge to vomit through my nose due to the pungent odor (something like chilli and sour pickles) wafting from the lunch of my co-worker.

My hand is carefully positioned over my nose, trying to control the airflow to it, and in my peripheral vision I can see him gobbling his way through whatever it is he is eating - but it's not like I need to look because I can hear the heavy breathing and grunting that accompanies the act just fine. I want to get up and run, fast, to a place with fresh air (which unfortunately requires an elevator ride).

Silently I pray:
"Please! Help! Take the food away fast (and not to the garbage between our desks) and get him a decongestant!!! Anybody, please..."

My brain is suffering from lack of oxygen. How much longer keep holding my breath so I can use my second hand to type?

I feel dirty and trapped.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Sick of Feeling Soggy

sog·gy (sg, sôg)
adj. sog·gi·er, sog·gi·est

  1. Saturated or sodden with moisture; soaked: soggy clothes.
  2. Lacking spirit; dull: a soggy bit of dialogue.
  3. Humid; sultry: a soggy afternoon in August.

This morning I woke to the sound of NPR news cataloging damages to hurricane victims in Florida. Brad and I ate breakfast while we watch the wind whipping outside our kitchen window. Then, around 9am, I donned the now leaky galoshes and made my way to work on steamy subway trains packed like cattle cars.

Now, here I sit, in a crappy corporate office, sweaty from my commute. Two hours ago I was freezing in my apartment. I am reading about the ever worsening Artic Thaw, checking cloudy, shower-filled 10-day forcasts on the weather channel, sniffling and wondering when it was that this city became so damn wet . . .

This is todays forcast according to

Windy. A steady rain this morning, with showers continuing this afternoon. High 54F. Winds NNE at 25 to 35 mph. Rainfall possibly over one inch. Winds could occasionally gust over 50 mph.


Last night in the pelting rain and gusting winds that I doubt were over 20mph, the dog walk was not fun. It is sad when even Francine doesn't want to go out, her walks are the highlights of her doggy days.

I am not looking forward to this evening.

1 year ago I took insult when Brad said he gave New York an F for weather.
Today I am at a D and diving.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Drunkin' Pumpkin

My mother-in-law has quickly become my biggest fan. Brad and I both get more feedback than imaginable and I don't know if anyone looks forward to and regularly checks for blog posts as much as Caryl does. Knowing this I feel that I should post more frequently. . .

Saturday morning, while Brad was cookin' up our latest favorite, "Fried Green Tomato Scrambled Eggs" (use your imagination), to go with some leftover Polenta Cakes, I sat at my computer in a cloudy, post-Friday night haze wondering what could be interesting enough to write about. Despite resolutions not to party so hard on Friday
as to make us worthless on Saturday, we did it again. Fighting the urge to remain horizontal that morning (nearly afternoon), that was the latest news at the time.

These photos were taken Friday night, with my dear old friend Sara Patten, AFTER (!) Brad had already gone home to pass out, at the bar down the street from out house:

Since then however, there have been developments. As the weekend progessed, Brad and I dipped into a new TV series, Netflix style – Strangers with Candy. We stocked up on veggies (lots of apples and tomatoes) at the farmer's market for another round of sauces and also helped our friend Christine paint her new apartment. The highlight, I'd say, was our Saturday night pumkin carving. The pumkins are for display at our friends' Halloween party this coming Friday night, and the carvings also yielded me some scraps that I'll be making some yummy pumkin bread with this week.

Check out the photos:

Last night, after the
Dark Rainbows won their first play-off game against last year's champions and the 2nd seated team (!!!), Brad and I attended a college friend of mine's wedding. When I put on my 50's style black dress and heels, Brad told me I looked like a wicked witch. Being that we haven't decided on Halloween costumes yet, it's good to know I'm at least in the spirit.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Who I Want To Be When I Grow Up

Brad didn't have any idea the wheels he would start turning in my head when he emailed me this article at work today. Rachel Ray really is cool, and yes a little dorky and even annoying too.

Food TV is one of my favorite recipe and cooking resources. I started using it after a summer sublet at my friend John's apartment with cable, a rare treat to me, during which 30 Minute Meals was at the top of the rotation. Also, Brad and I have adopted one of our favorite meals from a Rachel Ray chilli recipe. (I'll post that real soon)

Anyway, I love me some Martha and I know she's an empress too. But chosing between the two, wouldn't you rather be Rachel Ray? She's a likeable lady with good timing.
I like to think she likes cooking like I do, for enjoyment and for eating! Plus, my brother and his college friends could have a new drinking game.

I don't know if I can max out my magazine subscriptions to get Every Day with Rachel Ray - but I am sure am curious about cooking for my dog.


In other food related news: Mark Bittman is a
columnist for the Times and also an author of cookbooks. After work this evening Brad and I stumbled upon (and bought!) his new book, The Best Recipes in the World at The Strand. I am very excited. Judging by the sample recipes in his column and what I've spied in the book so far, there is a lot to look forward to!

Here is another cool article by Mr. Bittman

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Brad "The Baker"

Brad has proclaimed that he intends to be the baker/dessert specialist of the family. This is an exciting complement to my cooking obsession, being that I can whip up some amazing diners, but recently messed up a box cake.

Last night, in his second effort to earn this title, Brad made some scrumptious
Lemony Sugar Coookies. The first effort towards the same batch of cookies took place and failed last week. Brad had some mixing casualties and accidently doubled the butter, a result of the unfortunate, beginner's mistake of not reading the entire recipe before making the dough. The cookies (if you can call them that) were a sight!

However, if some lessons are best learned through mistakes, then Brad is on his way to greatness. Last night's cookie baking episode was a methodical and slightly anal endevour on his part that yielded some very yummy cookies.

Francine loves cookies too.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Poker Face

The highlight of this weekend nearly past (aside from the Dark Rainbows winning our hockey game today!) was our Friday night Texas Hold'Em Party. Two of my friends from college + lady friends joined Brad and I for a good old-fashioned drunken poker night.

At the end of the night it was my friend Mike's German girlfriend, Nicole, who took home the pot. Nicole learned to play poker by reading some rules on the way over to our house and us explaining the rest to her upon arrival at the start of the game. And while some might call this beginner's luck, being that after hours of playing she often didn't know the value of the hand she was holding, there are those of of that think her dominance was greatly attributed to her natural born "poker face". Her stoic German mannerisms translated into an emotionless expression that was truly unreadable and amazing. I think she single handedly took all 5 of the other players out, including her final opponent - myself, without any of us seeing it coming. I am a little bit afraid to invite her back next time!

Can you pick out the poker face?

Brad, at the end of poker night!

Anyway . . . after the beer-filled poker night Brad and I were sluggish and hungover Saturday morning. In need of a little something special to get us going on the first sunny day the city had seen in about 8 days, I crafted what I am calling an Italian Garden Frittata. Made with the yummy, fresh garden share vegetables we picked up that morning, it was just the cure. Here is the recipe:

Italian Garden Frittata

olive oil

1 small bell pepper, chopped

1 large tomato, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red onion chopped

8 large eggs
1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped

sea salt and coarse ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400˚
Wisk together eggs and milk, generously salt and pepper.

In a 10-inch, oven safe, non-stock skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion and pepper and cook until onion is translucent and peppers are slightly tender. Stir in tomatoes and cook for about 1 more minute. Reduce heat to medium and pour egg mixture over top. Let cook while occasionally lifting sides away from pan to allow the liquid to run off the top to the bottom of the pan for about 10-12 minutes or until the eggs are beginning to set but still a bit runny on top.

Mix together the basil and asiago cheese and sprinkle over the top. Place in the oven for about 15 minutes or until fluffy and slightly browned at the edges. Loosen from the sides of the pan and serve immediately.

Serves four and is delicious!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

How-To Build a Suburb

Who doesn't imagine their dream home? Brad and I certainly do. We have both been monitoring the trends in the housing market of late, fantisizing about when we might be able to get in on it.

Now, I am a shameless fan and sometimes follower of the "how-to empire", but really, who imagines their dream home is Martha Stewart's home? This article in the NY Times about Martha Stewart teaming up with a developement group to create a housing subdivision modeled on 3 of her homes is just too much, I had to post it, it's amazing. And to answer my question, Martha said, "Let's face it, everybody wants to live in one of my homes".

Ha! Go Martha, we need more suburban sprawl.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Massive Panic

Recently I have begun to grow more panicked about the state of the world, the planet that is. While I am excitedly reading about the development of things "green" and "sustainable", which should lend to hope, I am simultaneously reading articles in the NY Times about the melting of Arctic ice. Coupled with the noticible change in the climate and the growing severity of recent storms and natural disaters, I can't help but fear The Day After Tomorrow. Yes, I mean the kind of crappy movie.

My resulting fear is greatly fueled by one sad thought; the population that is unaware and unconcerned with the need to take greater care of our planet is SO MUCH greater than the number of people who know that change is necessary. However, this being true it is good to know that people like Bruce Mao (*design rockstar) are out there, people who aim to change the world, and thus the planet. Check out Mao's project Massive Change, it is truely massive in it's ambition and fascinating in it's approach. I think this story about bicycles is cool and inspiring.


On a semi-related (?) note, here is a website that was floating around the design blogs today that examines the design of mapping complex networks. Way cool.


Monday, October 10, 2005

My Old Self Again

Ahhhh . . . the swelling has subsided, the soreness lessening by the day and I am no longer on the couch. It is day 7 and finally, I see Heather in the mirror again. Tomorrow, the stitches be gone and the whole hideous wisdom teeth experience will end (I hope).

In case you don't remember what I REALLY look like, here is a photo to wipe those nasty swollen images of me from your mind:

But really, let's not talk about that anymore.

There are some benefits to being couch-ridden for nearly a week. I was able to catch up and spend time on many activities that are most often brsushed aside, such as:

  • Magazines I subscribe to - read them all.
  • Scrabble - such a great leisurely game.
  • Dr. Mario - good to tune up those skills.
  • Books - I have been reading Sometimes a Great Notion for longer than I care to mention. While I didn't finish it this week, I made a good dent.
  • Computer cleaning - that's right, cleared off the desktop and backed up the old hard drive.
  • Movies - not that this is something I needed to dedicate more time to, but I watched some goodies.
And last but certainly not least (for it was more than a year overdue)
  • Website update and redesign! That's right, I updated my portfolio samples and freshened up the look a bit. You can check it out here. Of course there are still grander updates in sight, and a few details to add on this round. But it's done, it's live and most importantly it's current.

Did I mention the other benefit to being laid up? Brad cooked, cleaned and took care of me ALL week. It was nice. And speaking of Brad cooking, last night I was finally up for a joint effort in the kitchen and we enjoyed this goody from the latest Everyday Food Mag - Arugula Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatos and Mushrooms. Yummmy! I didn't quite eat it, just swallowed it in small pieces, but it was the nearest to a real meal I have eaten in a week, and delidious non the less. Try it some time!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

A Little Less Wise

And a lot more swolen.

To think I was frightened at 24 hours, 48 hours post-op is looking a whole lot uglier. I don't recognize myself anymore and Brad told me he can't remember what I used to look like. Yikes!

Since yesterday afternoon may face has been

and swelling

and swelling

this morning:
more swelling

48 hours, and still swelling

I pray that I have reached the maximum, as the doctor predicted. I mean, really, how much more face could I possibly have?

Save Your Skins

Brad is adapting well to his house-wifely duties in my illness. Tonight he created a salad, his very own, including the dressing. We saved the apple peel shavings from our apple sauce extravaganza, and from this, the salad was born. Deeeeelicious!

Sadly, I could not eat this beauty of a salad, only put a small bite in my mouth and then spit it out. Quite a taste test! It has been two torturous days now of watching Brad eat yummy meals next to me while I spoon liquid or mushed food into mouth and swallow. I'm actually getting used to it . . .

Apple Peel Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette


cherry tomatoes, halved

finely sliced asiago cheese

almond slices

roasted apple peel strips (left over from apple sauce peeling!)

* combine 2 cups, loosely-packed, apple peel strips with 1 tablespoon of butter, broken into small pieces, on a baking tray. Bake at 400˚ for 20 minutes or until crsipy, stirring frequently.

toss salad ingredients and serve with

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

white balsamic vinegar (2 parts)

olive oil (2 parts)

sweet honey mustard (1 part)

soy sauce (1 part)

fresh ground salt and pepper to taste


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Wizzies Be Gone

The doctor cut, scrapped, drilled, crunched and tugged on those teeth until they came out while I lay there shaking and holding onto the dentist chair for dear life. And now, my wizzies are gone. But as horrrible as the dentist office experience was, it was only the beginning. I have been couch ridden since arriving home yesterday afternoon, hopped up on codine, advil and antibiotics while my face continues to throb and grow.

Lucky for me, Brad, husband turned nurse and house-wife, has been documenting the progress of my swell towards recovery. Despite the fact that I no longer like to look at myself in the mirror, in my pain-killer induced state of calm and boredom, I have decided to share.

Here we go:

Anesthesia-enduced droppy mouth

Then let the swelling begin

Followed by a brief stint of antibiotic-enduced nausia

A night of sleep didn't help . . .

Neither did a hot shower

That's right, pretty gross! According to the dentsit, the swelling should peak at about 48 hours - so at the time of this last photo I was only at the halfway point of this crazy, miserable post-op experience.

Stay tuned for the 48 hour update.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Zen and the Art of Grocery Shopping

Few things relax me and clear my mind more than an hour strolling the aisles of a grocery market. It's almost as good as yoga, I wander and shop while dreaming of new recipes and comparing prices and produce – and when I leave, I am calm and my mind is clear.

Today was an eventful shop because I felt obligated to check out the new health food market that opened just outside my subway stop. I am sure it will afford some convenience in the furture, but the price of a bottle of olive oil scared me. So, I bought some coffee and some really cool flowers, and moved on to my now beloved old market, Tops on the Water Front.

Check out the flowers:

Over a week ago I made a blog declaration of intent to regularly write about food, and I haven't done so since. Why? Because what happened in my kitchen last week was not much of anything. Instead, Brad and I managed to eat out at restaurants 5 separate times in one week! And no, we're not on vacation.

Here are the highlights:

Mussels and Linguine Fra Diavlo
Seared Skate with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic, Olives and Mashed Potatoes
Pork Belly Risottoo
Scallops in Tomato Broth with Corn Salsa
Duck Leg Confit
Vermont Maple Roasted Pear salad
Roasted Pork Loin with Bean Cakes
Pulled Pork Sandwich with yummy Homemade French Fries
French Onion Soup

Yep, you wouldn't be cooking either! However, I did pick up 5 pounds of sweet, delicious apples from Upstate and after seeking out an apple peeler/corer at my new favorite store, Broadway Panhandler, Brad and I made applesauce. Soooo good. And after we ate baked "Volcanic Apples" for dessert tonight, with two apples I had set aside, Brad suggested that I title this entry "Holy Crap Baked Apples are Good". I opted not, but they were amazing.

Here are some photos of the action and simple apple recipes for your fall enjoyment:

Apple Sauce

4lbs of apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup of water
1 stick of cinnamon
1 teaspoons of white sugar
2 teaspoons of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of honey (if desired)

Bring all the ingredients to a boil then cover and simmer for 35 minutes, stirring frequently.
Apples should be very tender. Remove the cinnamon stick, mix in the juice of 1 lemon and mash with a potato masher.

Baked Volcanic Apples for 2

2 apples, cored with a wider mouth at the top
*gently slice the skin in a ring around the center of the apple, so the skin doesn't bubble when cooking.
6 tablespoons of museli (preferably nutty)
1 tablespoon of butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons honey

Preheat the oven to 375˚
Melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat, add museli and brown sugar. Stir and cook until museli is slightly browned. Remove from heat, stir in cinnamon and fill apple holes with the mixture – mounding at the top. Top each apple with a tablespoonful of honey and place in a baking dish with a few spoonfuls of water in the bottom. Bake 45 minutes until apples are tender when pierced and honey has formed a glaze. To serve top with additional dolup of honey and cream if desired.


Monday, October 03, 2005

Theater Cats and Clowns

On saturday afternoon, Brad and I experienced something so special and surreal. . .

Yury Kuklachev and The Moscow Theatre Cats.

Brad's employer, Mary-Anne Martin of
Mary-Anne Martin Fine Arts, is a cat lover of the highest degree. After reading this article in the NY Times, she invited some of us other lucky cat lovers to the performance at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center.

The cat show was actually much more of a clown show, performed by Yury (as the main act/head clown), two assistant clowns (one of which put on an impressive hoola-hoop twirling act) and a cat queen (perhaps Yury's wife?) dressed in an pale blue gown and a golden cat helmet. These performers told an abstract story involving painting, building blocks and a bizarre dream sequence complete with two people in sparkling suits and alien heads. All of this was set loosely to the tune of the nutcracker suite and russain circus music, performed live, synth-style, on a keyboard.

The cats accompanied the performance running across the stage and executing their tricks. Some of the tricks were simply for the cats to sit still while being sent across the stage in such things as miniture hot air balloons and bicycles on an elaborate pully system. Others pushed and were pushed around the stage in carts by the two dog performers. However, the cats also performed such stunts as tightrope walking (and hanging), jumping, climbing up poles and Mr. Kuklachev, dancing, handstands, and running on a mirror ball. The grand finale consisted of Yury touring the stage with several cats climbing onto and jumping off of his shoulders while the cat queen circled the stage on a golden tricycle contraption with rods suspending 4 cats about her in the air.

Even my wildest imagination, with the help of hallucinogenic drugs, could not have conceived the wonder that was the Moscow Cats Theatre . . .

And for a double dose of culture, last night we attended the final performance of the Fall for Dance series at City Center. A really cool concept, the series hosted 30 international dance companies, 5 companies per night in 6 performances for the amazing price of $10 for any seat in the house! The tickets were not sold in advance, only an hour and a half before the show at the box office. Unfortunatley, we learned how hot this event was when we arrived only 30 mintues after tickets sales had begun to be sent to the sold-out cancellation line in hopes of procuring someone else's unused tickets before 8pm.

I will tell you, I was a very disapointed girl standing in that line, in a crowd charged with desperation and speckled with scalpers. Tickets were not easy to come by. Brad showed his love for me by trolling the arriving crowd yelling "Does ANYONE have two extra tickets!?" as I waited with my hand on the cash in my back pocket. Luckily, with just 15 minutes to go, we happened at the right time onto a women with 2 seats (unknown to us at the time) in the center of the last row!

But it was worth it (and pretty exciting). The performance was incredible.

On our bill for the evening was:

Charles Mouton's "48 Person Precision Ball Passing"
As the title tells you, 48 dancers positioned on risers passing balls, and a young female dancer at one point, set to music. Super cool.

A solo by Vincent Mantsoe, a leading South African choreographer and beautiful dancer.

Compagnie Marie Chouinard's "24 Predludes by Chopin"
By far, the highlight of the night. Men and women dancers in sexy, sheer and small black costumes with crazy braided hair-dos and mohalks, and
a really cool contemporary take on Chopin's music. It was a series of solos, duos, trios and group movements with a silly, yet expressive and fluid choreographic style. I am looking forward to attending their performance at the Joyce this December. What a treat to be introduced to such an exciting company of dancers!

"7x7x7x7x7" performed by Yoshiko Chuma & The School of Hard Knocks
7 dancers, 7 Trombones (and musicians playing them) and four 7-foot cubes on stage.

And finally, The Joffrey Ballet performed "Suite Saint-Saëns"
To be honest it was sort of a queer piece, classical in style yet choreographed in the late 70's.
But, beautiful none the less.

An awesome night of dance. My only wish was that a family of ignorant assholes hadn't been sitting right in front of us, talking, laughing, crinkling paper and checking their cell phones throughout the entire performance. Grrrr. I was actually infuriated to the point of shushing them during the last piece. Apparently these peoople had never been in a theater before and remained completely oblivious to the fact that they were disrupting and ruining the experience of everyone anround them . . .

Oh well, I fell for the dancing anyway.