Wednesday, May 30, 2007

TV Last Night

It was the season finale of Boston Legal, so I had to watch. I really, really dig that show. I know it's probably not cool to admit, but I don't care. James Spader and William Shatner are TVs greatest couple.
Anyway, I tuned in ABC (not always an easy task) early and then went to work on my dinner (red beans and rice and collard greens--mmmmm) While I was trapped in the kitchen, the George Lopez show came on. I really don't understand how this show remains on television. It was awful. It seemed like because he is hispanic he felt free to fill his show up with fat jokes and gay jokes. I suffered through two episodes and then I managed to change it to The Paul Riser and Helen Hunt syndication on WBGN before that other horrible show came on. Sit coms are by and large REALLY bad these days, no?
Anyway, eventually Boston Legal came on and made up for it. So intelligently good.
Say what you will about David E Kelly, he's come up with some interesting television.
Other than TV I've been digging through all my belongings trying to sort things out for an upcoming yard sale. I'll be selling many fabulous outfits and pairs of shoes so be on the lookout!
And besides that---working. Monday I served breakfast for 46 people in less than two hours. It was a trip. After my shift I spent a couple hours working on a dinner special no one ordered (bastards!) and then I came home and took a lovely nap in the sun. AND THEN---went to see Sikhara and z'ev and some local noisicians. Such amazing tribal pounding! Some day it will be mine. It felt like a ritual and it felt weird to be in the fine arts auditorium with the lights up. I imagined I was in some dark half burned out building with fires burning all around. that made more sense.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Pirates of the Caribbean - Which character are you?

Captain Jack Sparrow
Take this quiz!

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Wow---the new movie is just so good. Even though I somehow came out as Jack Sparrow, my heart belongs to Barbossa.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Well hello there!
I'm back from Chicago with a whole new understanding of the customer pager industry. The innovations are astounding.
Closer to home, we found an amazing bottle and a few other things that can be actually useful to our operation. I attened some educational sessions of various applicability and public speaking acumen, and we enjoyed some Chicago style dining and nightlife. Also, we enjoyed/suffered a Chicago style icy downpour that lasted the entire 8 blocks from the El to the hostel. Lake effect, dontchaknow.
I hope to write a recap of the trip soon, but for now you can check out my Chicago links on my brand new page. Enjoy!
According tobeliefnet , I am:

1. New Age (100%)
2. Neo-Pagan (97%)
3. Liberal Quakers (96%)
4. Unitarian Universalism (90%)
5. Mahayana Buddhism (80%)
6. Reform Judaism (78%)
7. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (77%)
8. Bahá'í Faith (70%)
9. Theravada Buddhism (68%)
10. Jainism (68%)
11. Sikhism (66%)
12. Secular Humanism (64%)
13. Orthodox Quaker (63%)
14. Taoism (61%)
15. New Thought (59%)
16. Scientology (54%)
17. Hinduism (50%)
18. Orthodox Judaism (49%)
19. Islam (42%)
20. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (40%)
21. Nontheist (36%)
22. Seventh Day Adventist (25%)
23. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (24%)
24. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (22%)
25. Eastern Orthodox (18%)
26. Roman Catholic (18%)
27. Jehovah's Witness (12%)

the only real surprise is that hinduism is so far down the list, but I suppose that has to do mostly with my answers to the last few questions. take the quiz--it's very interesting!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Not that you'd notice, since I seem to only manage a post every 10 days or so, but I am heading out of town this morning for 5 days to CHICAGO for the National Restaurant Association show and convention (the OTHER NRA) While there I am hoping to be able to gaze worshipfully upon Thomas Keller and also Martin Atkins, who (completely unrelated to the restaurant show) has an art show up right now in a gallery in Chicago. Tonight there is a band playing a 7 inch release party in the gallery, and that band is on Invisible, and's possible that he'll be there. Swoon. There are educational sessions to attend and thousands upon thousands of vendors to visit. Granted, the number of vendors who will hold even a passing interest for me could probably fit into my apartment, but it will be fun to look at all the latest in culinary technology and watch some ice carving and international chefs do their thing. I'll be unplugged for the duration, so sit tight until wednesday if you need to get in touch with me.
Hopefully I'll return to a whole bunch of super exciting news!

Monday, May 07, 2007

So.......we got it. Eeeek!
All my mental decorating paid off more quickly than I even expected. After spending half a day feeling like I was going to throw up with anxiety about whether or not someone else would bid on our house first, and then worrying whether or not our bid was too low and the sellers would decide to wait for a better offer (we bid twelve thousand below the asking price!) they accepted our offer the very same afternoon.
Of course, there is still plenty of time for things to go horribly wrong. We could get an inpection and find that the place is riddled with termites or on the verge of blowing up with bad wiring or full or radon or whatever else things can go horribly wrong. But barring any of those things, we will have a house on or around June 15th!

Now, I want to talk a little bit about violent crime. As I may or may not have hinted, our house is not in a "good" neighborhood. Most people I've told have mentioned being worried about me walking to and from work. Even rebby is concerned (though she feels better about the idea of me riding a bike) Yet, here's the thing...I've known at least four people who have been mugged in the NICE neighborhood where I live now. I've read about purse snatchings and car theft and car smashing in Bloomfield. I've heard about shootings in Lawrenceville, burglary and rape in Shadyside and Point Breeze, and not too many months go by without a smash and grab in North Oakland, despite the more or less constant presence of Pitt patrol cops.
Yet, despite three separate tries and a combined total of about 2 hours of searching, I have been able to find NO mentions of violence in my new neighborhood in any news archives. I found a story about the gang violence that occured there in the 80s that decimated the business district, but that was in a nice story about the guy who owns the carribbean grocery who put up bullet proof glass to stay open. I read about how the mayor's tax abatement program for new development was going to include my new neighborhood. I read about the old Italian businesses, a few of which are still hanging on, and the jamaican woman who had a "restaurant" in her backyard right on the corner of my street (I don't think she's there anymore)
Now I guess you could make an argument that violence in a neighborhood like mine is "not news" and so doesn't get published, but I think that's cynical. And it really is beside the point---the point that living in a "nice" neighborhood doesn't necessarily make you safe, just as living in a "bad" neighborhood doesn't mean you have to live in fear. There seem to be some very concerned and active residents working to make the neighborhood safer and cleaner and more populated, and I am really looking forward to being a part of that.
I am also really looking forward to going paint shopping. And scouring thrift stores with a whole new eye (we are going to try really hard not to buy any furniture new)
Though I know there is probably no chance, I have been dreaming of the gorgeous sage green brocade sofa we saw in the St Vincent de Paul thriftstore in Millvale. And the small dining set in the window at the Merton center thrift store. Mostly, I can't wait to get going on those bathrooms!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Gardening Yesterday

Yes, we finally managed to get some seeds into the ground yesterday! It was an unbelievably gorgeous day yesterday and we took advantage of it. First we had a gardener's breakfast at the oddly non-smoking Ritters (it's not odd that it's non-smoking now that the smoking ban has more or less passed, but it was sure odd to be in there with no cigarettes anywhere. this will take some getting used to!) and then we headed over to the house on the hill to work the garden. We planted some onion sets that rebby got from a friend at work, and three rows of swiss chard, and three rows of buttercrunch lettuce. We also planted two basil plants rebby got at the co-op--they are a little spindly so I propped them up with some sticks. I managed to get really dirty again which made me very happy, and I also managed to work up a little bit of a sweat. Nothing like the day we actually dug the bed when I was sore for three days after, though. But I am looking forward to doing that again really soon.
After the gardening I took a shower and then started to tear apart my bathroom. I very unsentimentally pitched stuff I've been carting around for five years or more. Seriously, half used tubes of Mary Kay this and that---foundation, people! I used to wear FOUNDATION! Those were different times. I pitched lots of little bottles of perfumes that I probably could have sold at a yard sale but I can't really see a yard sale happening. And more to the point, I just want to get as much stuff out of the apartment as I can before I actually have to move. Which gives me just under three months. I packed all but the essentials that I am keeping into the first medium sized blue plastic tote. (the first large sized tote has already been packed with sheets) I took a cursory stab at scrubbing the shower stall, but none of the cleaning products I currently have did any good on the moldy seams of the crappy vinyl shower liner. I was sort of appalled that the landlords brought someone over to show the apartment yesterday---if I was the landlord I certainly would not have tried to show the place before I had gotten a good look at it myself. Am I right? And had I gotten a good look at it my self, I would have made the decision to at the very least put in a new shower liner before trying to rent the place, if not a whole new tub. They are charging a sort of criminal amount of money for this place for it to not be in fantastic condition. That's a large part of the reason I want out---it just isn't worth it to spend MORE money on a place after having lived here for three years with no improvements.
Anyhoo, so the question is: where am I moving TO? Well, if the stars are positioned correctly and the moon is in the seventh house and jupiter aligns with mars, I will be moving into a beautiful HOUSE owned by my honeygirl. I don't want to say too much because I don't want to jinx it, but suffice it to say that I have been mentally paiting the walls in the ginormous kitchen for the past two days. (I'm mentally painting them pale orange with cobalt blue trim, if you are curious) I have also been mentally arranging furniture and mentally decorating the upstairs bathroom in a pirate theme. The downstairs bathroom is all ready to receive my raspberry colored towels and toilet cover. I have even been mentally hanging the plastic op art curtain I bought at Ikea when I moved into this place but never hung anywhere. (I'm mentally hanging it in front of the downstairs shower) Yes, my mental decorating has been thorough enough that I hopefully have cast a whammy of ownership on the place. I just got an email last night from our realtor that the place was shown twice and one party was definitely interested, so we need to step up our game. I am hoping the mental decorating whammy will buy us some time. Cross your fingers and toes!
IF all this mental whammybar action doesn't pan out, I will most likely be moving in to the place where my honeygirl lives now till such time as we find another house to cast our whammy on. I am fully prepared for either situation--well, I am planning to be fully prepared for either situation. Either all my crap in plastic totes goes into the new house, or all my crap in plastic totes goes into storage until such time as a new new house can be procured. So, I have three months to get rid of all the extraneous crap and fit all the essential crap into plastic totes. I think I can do it.
In the mean time, I am hoping to be able to cater like the wind so I can build up some cash reserves. The universe seems to be on board with this idea as we are getting catering inquiries pretty regularly, so my hopes are high. I'm awfully excited about this exciting new turn of events.
Ok, time to go do some more laundry and smack down the bathroom floor! Hooray for spring!