Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Amber & Squirrel Season

Don't worry: my lack of a post yesterday wasn't a sign that I was kidnapped by Diana's friends the squirrels. But, boy, are they abundant these days! I guess they are busy storing nuts for the winter, but it also seems possible that they are plotting to take over America while our economy is so weak. Maybe they're been saving up all these years and plan to buy out the remaining banks with acorns.

A squirrel wandered into my hallway a couple of weeks ago and seemed very confused. But maybe he was really just acting confused and on a reconnassaince mission. Maybe he is planning on buying my building! I bet squirrels would be great landlords. Although, their policies might not be so cat-friendly.

I think we should study up on our new masters and their squirrely ways. Nick found this photo gallery as a start.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Amber & Rock Stars

I totally know rock stars. Or, at least, I know people who photograph as though they are in an indy band. I would totally buy their album.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Amber & Hypoglycemia

Woody, Tiggy, Nick and I saw Dr. Schaubhut this morning. I love him. He thinks Woody's fit was a sign of hypoglycemia. Not eating (I had to withhold breakfast in prep for the vet) and being stressed about travel were probably enough to send the boy's sugar levels reeling. If it ever happens again, I should feed the boy some sugar A.S.A.P.-- or just make him wear a candy hat like I found on this fantastic blog WTF Knits.

Dr. Schaubhut thinks the cats are maximally stressed out. He suggests a thorough house-cleaning of a spiritual kind-- lavender, sprayed Rescue Remedy, Feliway diffusing, sage smudging, and some holy water sprinking. I'm on it. He also suggested I get a kitten. I'm on it.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Amber & Early Autumn, Late Planes

I love rainy autumn days. I love raincoats and sweaters and boots and tights. I love the smell of wet trees. I love the sound of wet leaves russling in the breeze.

I don't love it that a little rain has delayed Kevin's return to America, though.

Hurry back, little Kevin, so you don't miss out on autumn.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Amber & Non-Plussed Men

At the risk of outraging the public, I don't get the fawning over Mad Men. It is true that I have only seen two episodes from the first season, but I have no desire to see more.

Yes, they sure smoked alot in the fifties-- and drank and made inappropriate sexual comments to ladies in the workplace! Weren't those quaint times? We sure are smarter than they were. And the gays were so closeted! And the sweaters were so form fitting! There's a certain disturbing and overly simple nostalgia to the show that I don't enjoy nearly as much as I enjoy this artifact of 1950s advertising.

Yes, the show paints a lovely tableau vivant, but why couldn't I just spend the 45-minutes looking at actual tableau from the same period (although maybe not so vivant)?

Mad Men? Bad Men. No thanks.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Amber & Languor

Instead of blogging about my worry about Woody's fit yesterday or lack of energy today, I am going to blog about another animal that deserves worry but is being protected with some success-- our little fuzzy buddy, the white-headed langur.

The New York Times had an article yesterday about the efforts to save these little guys in China. There's even a little slideshow with cuteness overloading.

It's a happy-making tale that is worth checking out.

I love animals.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Amber & How I Make Coffee

As previously blogged, I now make my own morning coffee. After I have bathed, I product up (face, body and hair), and half-dress (leaving off any components of my outfit which might get foody or furry). Then, I put on the cat kettle. While I am waiting for the water to boil, I put the coffee in the French Press.
Then, I put the toast in the toaster and feed the cats. (I feed them cat food, not toast, but I did not want to photodocument how gross lamb wet food is.)

Once the water boils, I add the water to the press and let the coffee brew, while I enjamb
my toast.
Then, I pour myself a mug (and add milk) and also pour one into my travel mug. I have two French Presses, one for a single cup and one for two. I use the two cup on days when I am working on-site so I have something to sip during my morning booth duty.

I add a doctor-deterring apple, and then head out to the couch to dine, and if I am lucky, have a little lap time with my favorite boy cat.I like to think it's about proximity to me and not to the toast crumbs.

And that's how I make coffee in the morning! Any questions?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Amber & Ramen

I took the day off for a two-day weekend, so I won't be documenting coffee today. Instead, I'll tell you, loud and proud: I love ramen. I seriously would eat ramen once a day if I could make my own decent dashi. The addition of Ippudo to my life, aka The Best Ramen I Have Ever Tasted, has been a huge leap on the path to perfect contentment.

(Notice that they put the name of the restaurant on the omelet just in case I get confused about where I am.)

Jimmy just posted a photo set of Nick and I in the midst of ramen bliss. It made me hungry. For ramen.

There are also a couple of photos of me and Nick being fascinated by objects: his earring, an umbrella. I don't remember what that was about, but I totally remember how wonderous the ramen were.

Sigh. Good times.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Amber & Morning Cats

My morning is pretty much all about being a zombie, bathing and doing cat chores. I do yoga, drink water, scoop litter, feed cats, give Tiggy Time, provide Woody with Shower Sips, make the bed for optimal Environment Enjoyment, and generally respond to their needs. Luckily, I pick out my outfit the night before since cat chores (and being a zombie) leave little time (or mental capacity) for selecting items that help define one's signature style.

One more kitty chore I do every morning is attend to this little guy when he starts to whine.

After I nearly burned down my D.C. apartment (but Tiggy saved the day!), CRD gave me this tea pot in the shape of a cat. Although Nick finds this somewhat frightening, I find it downright creepy. It's a cat that you fill with water and put over an open flame. But, he's essential to my new morning coffee routine, which CRD also gifted upon me. (Who knew you could make coffee in your own house for less than $4 a cup?)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Amber & Windsday

I started the day today by watching a little Winnie the Pooh. Jimmy read my post about my love of my childhood Talking Viewmaster Viewer and tracked down one for my birthday!

I couldn't figure out how to capture some of the images from the reels, but luckily Leo's father over at this blog did.

The one with Pooh stuck in the hole is one that I loved as a kid. They images are so beautiful and vibrant. And Pooh just loves his honey.

Thank you, Jimmy!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Amber & Serendipitous Wallets

Amy Bee gave me a super cutie wallet with an orange bicycle on it as a present for my birthday when I saw her on Sunday at the place of plant growth which I dare not mention by name lest it show up on the RSS feeds of the Commander of Conifers. Little did she know that it would match my handbag that I got at the Outlet Mall with CRD!

How serendipitous! That is, while searching for a present for me, Amy happened upon a matching friend for my handbag. Or, as I went about my business having been borned, I happened to meet Amy who happened to give me a wallet that matches my handbag perfectly! And, remember that I started working at National Show Tunes Inc. and met Hillary who introduced me to Jeff and that's how I serentipitously met Amy!

P.S. I totally do know what serendipity means, even if it's not apparent from this post.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Amber & Puff Plan

I already outlined my mid-term hair plan but now have visualized and ammended a hair end-point for the long-term plan. I am going to have puffs.

I have always wanted to rock rough and stuff with my afro-puffs, but the texture of my hair doesn't really lend itself to the style very readily.

Instead, I'm going to grow it out and have braid puffs. To be clear, I don't want Princess Leia donuts. (Not that there is anything wrong with donuts. Some of my favorite sisters are named after donut-wearing princesses.)
But I want high little bun puffs on the top of my head.
Even my girl Blythe rocks twin buns, although hers look a bit more donuty than puffy.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Amber & the Borrell Family

I am super-excited to see the Berner Family today. It has been months since I have seen Amy, David and Young Miss Hazel. I am meeting them today at the Dan Zanes concert at The New York Botanical Garden. I am working the event, but I will get to meet up with them and present them with their craft gifts.

Amy is getting a granny square scarf. Here is Amy C. modeling it.

It has holes in it, as Jimmy would point out, so it is obviously for fashion not warmth.

Hazel is getting a poncho I ridiculously knit for her before she was born, forgetting that babies don't come out the same size as adults. Here is Mikey modeling the poncho, with some recently added crocheted flowers.
David is getting a backpack. Not one I made but one that I saw on Kevin and thought would be nice for me, forgetting that I am not the same size as adult Kevin.

I sure hope they like their gifts!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Amber & Toes

Something is wrong with my feet, and it's not just that they look like embryo buds when I curl them up sideways.

The problem is my big toes. They hurt. They make popping sounds every time I bend them, and they just sort of ache all the time. Both feet, but more so the right one. And, the top of the right foot near the big toe is all puffy and doesn't fit in a mary jane. You can see the severity of the issue.

I think I should see my new doctor. It could be halitosis of the foot.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Amber & Second Birthdays

Last night, CRD, who was in Germany for my real anniversary of being born, took me to Birthday Fancy Feast at Red Cat. CRD chose the establishment because he likes the color red and he likes cats, and they had fancy red plates on the table when we came in that we never actually ate on. They were part of the decor.

It was sure a yummy meal. We had Lindy cocktails (which were really just Whiskey Smash! by another name but smelled and tasted as sweet) and tomatoes and lambs and couscous and herbed french fries and rocky road bread pudding. It was super fun, and then we watched Bones.

Thank you, CRD. And thanks to the Red Cat.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Amber & Historic New York

I had an adventure upstate yesterday. I, along with 28 of my closest garden fans, took a bus to two historic and lovely sites, both of which included gardens.

Up first was the Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden. The garden was lovely and calming.

Then, we went to the John Jay Homestead which was super fun and I think Kevin would enjoy.

There was alot of colonial history and interior design and then a really beautiful grounds also full of history. There's even a house that was bought out of a Montgomery Ward catalog on site!

The weather was lovely, too.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Amber & Toast

Have you ever thought about toast? I think it speaks to the complexity and marvel of our modern culture.

First, some genius people of Ye Olde Times invented bread. Whoa. Bravo to you, Ancient Peoples. But then, and here's where you witness the incredible spirit of invention, some ancient person said, "You know, I bet this bread would be better and perfectly suited to taking jam for breakfast if I toasted it." And boy oh boy, the ancient was right.

I found this website all about appreciating toast while eating mine this morning.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Amber & Woodland Creatures

So, it turns out that Etsy.com, which I blogged about a while back, is so yesterday. I read that the founding C.E.O. stepped down and took his coral pink nail polish and skate ramp with him. And then, the New York Times did an article last week about "The Ambassador of Homemade," Faythe Levine who has a new film coming out about the D.I.Y. fad. Crafts may be so yesterday, but I am absolutely still making ONE MILLION crochet flowers and a quilt.

From the article...

"Home stores like Urban Outfitters and, to a lesser extent, West Elm, continue to limn the handmade look — the woodland creatures, the deadpan-delicate drawings of nature scenes, “the whole cuteness factor,” as Ms. Levine put it — in many of their products."

Woodland Creatures sure are adorable.

But, my fellow gardeners, Jolynne and Jen, recently D.I.Y.ed themselves a real, live Woodland Creature! This is Walnut who fell out of a tree and was, as Diana notes is the way with baby squirrels, oddly obsessed with people.

You can see Walnut's original film debut here.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Amber & Quilting, Step 1

Yesterday was a big day. First, I had brunch with Kevin and Diana, then I got my hair-did with Jacqueline (just a trim since I am on the road to perm, but much darker color for fall), then Diana and I braved Hanna to journey to City Quilter. There, Diana helped me pick out the fabric for my very-first-ever quilt.

Here, Amy is examining it. She liked the combination of pinks and greens with the more subtle gray and biege and thinks it will go nicely in the room.

I am going to use this Brick Path pattern from the Amy Butler website, only I am doing the slightly less busy variation using only six fabrics instead of twelve.

Here is Woody demonstrating what he will do once the quilt is made: lay on it and groom his belly.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Amber & Remade Women

CRD has already noted the travesty of the remade American Kath & Kim.

And I already complained about remaking Kiss Me Deadly with a different plot. But, I'm not totally opposed to remakes. For example, I love The Office (American) and it doesn't make me squirm in quite the way that its British counterpart does. And I totally loved Buffy, even though it was a remake of a movie which I didn't think was that amazing.

But who thought remaking The Women was a good idea? What complete absence of taste allowed that to go forward? Who could be so vain as to hope to improve upon perfection?
And, most importantly, who would even dare make The Women without hats?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Amber & Birthday Beauty

In addition to being the innards of my chile, Kevin & Diana gave me a swell birthday present. They gave me a gift card for a facial at the Great Jones Spa which includes access to their wonderous water lounge which Diana has tested and deemed magical.

According to their site...

"The stunningly beautiful wet lounge is centered around a 3-story indoor waterfall, overlooking our thermal hot tub and cold plunge pool. Inspiring architecture, hushed acoustics and calming energy pervade the entire space. Just steps away, you’ll find our River Rock Sauna, Chakra Steam Room, and a lounge area for clients to lie back and relax as dappled sunlight streams in from the skylights above."
This, of course, lead to the very logical question of what to wear to a wet lounge. I'm going to make an appointment for next week, and Diana is going to join me for the water relaxation.

Clean skin and balanced chakras? What a great gift. I can't wait.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Amber & Crochet

With some help from my fellow gardener, Jen, and a book for klutzes, I learned how to crochet!

I've been told that if you learn how to crochet first, then mastering knitting is easier. I am, of course, going in the wrong direction-- swimming upstream as it were in the river of yarn crafts. The trickiest part for me was learning to control my gauge without the cheat of needle width. I now know how to do several stitches, including the single crochet, the half double crochet (which, mathematically, should be a single crochet, but crochet is not math), the double and triple crochets, and the slip stitch. With this small amount of knowledge, I have learned to make flowers! I am using the yarn my mom gave me years ago when I was in Madison. Something tells me that either everything I make this fall is going to have a crocheted flower on it, or someone is going to get an afghan made out of hundreds (thousands?) of flowers.

Next, I am going to try my hand at making granny squares. Woody does not seem excited by my accomplishment.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Amber & Birthday Booty, Nick Style

Today is the Saturday of my weekend. Mostly, I have home chores to do, but I also need to buy a frame for my Art which Nick gave me for my birthday.

To commemorate my entrance into the world, Nick gave me this reproduction of an original painting by Susie Ghahremani. (He got it on Etsy.com from the artist's shop there.)

I don't know if you noticed, but my Art is a hedgie playing a piano with his nose. What's going on there? Why is that so cute it makes me squeal? It's a hedgie, and he's playing a song on the piano with his tiny pink nose. See the musical note? That's how we know he is playing a song and not just sniffing the keys. Diana has a t-shirt by the same artist with a squirrel playing a snare drum. Who knew little animals were so musical?

I love Art.