Friday, October 31, 2008

Amber & Wrassling

You met Pickles when the Welcome Wagon came to welcome his wagon to my home. After even just seeing Jimmy's photos, some people remarked that Pickles looked a little crazy.

It might be the curly hair (La Perm) or the crazy irregular whiskers. Or it might be that he is.

Every morning, we start out our day by wrassling.

Pickles usually wins. Can you see his tiny baby cat fang? He's very gentle, and it's just play wrassling, but the intensity of his craziness usually triumps and I retreat.

Can you see the crazy just oozing out of those adorable bug eyes?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Amber & Mahvelous Ladies

I love Bill Cunningham, but I don't actually know who he is. I know he's not this guy, and I know he thinks it's just wonderful how the ladies dress themselves with such individual style and flair.

Every week, he does a report on what he saw the ladies wearing from the prior week. He's always awe struck by their genius, and I get swept up in his enthusiasm. He gets mentioned alot on Gawker, where I also learned that someone tried to identity theft him! And, I also read about this scandal where he dismissed a minion. Apparently, I am not alone in my adoration.

In this week's audio slideshow, he notes how ladies are dealing with the cold weather and wind. He also goes off on a tangent about how "witch" rhymes with something he doesn't want to be mistaken for saying, so he doesn't include a photo of one in case.... well, it doesn't really make sense. But I sure love him!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Amber & News Scoops

I know in this age of Internet, lots of people turn to blogs for breaking news. Well, you heard it here first, folks.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Amber & Anniversaries

How is it that I missed the one year anniversary of my christening as a blogger? Luckily, my epic two-day meeting ending 50 minutes early so I could come out and catch up on CRD's commemoration over at Internals Plural.

7,694 visits from 2,861 visitors shows me some people think my content is compelling enough that they come back for more! We're not nearly as international as CRD's audience though, with only 84 countries represented. The top ten were:
1. United States
2. United Kingdom
3. Canada
4. Australia
5. Germany
6. Italy
7. India
8. Colombia
9. France
10. Turkey

Hee hee! Turkey sent 22 visitors from 11 cities-- most of whom were sorely disappointed when they realized I was not the Amber whose photos they were looking for.

Direct referrals made up 22% of my overall traffic (that's you, fan who bookmarked me!). Googling puff coats brough 99 people here over the last year. This one's for you, puff coat fans!

Since you've stuck with me for a year, it's time I revealed my true identity. I'm this guy.

I iz in yur Intnets blogging up yur day.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Amber & Quantums of Hotness

This post is for Diana, whose excitement over the new Bond film is as unexpected as Jack White and Alicia Keys making a hot song together.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Amber & Deliciousness

Nick and I very spontaneously tried a new restaurant last night. In the middle of fierce rains and winds (and flash flooding on Amsterdam Avenue), we went out in search of deliciousness to Bodrum. I had only read about its Mediterranean goodness on Menu Pages, but, since I have been craving salt, decided it was a better meal option than mediocre Japanese or Japanese with bug memories.

It was delicious. We share the mezze sampler which had some of the most delicious babaghanoush I have ever tasted, fresh-charred eggplant from the beautiful brick oven.

Then, I had a tagine of this.What? Would you rather I had this?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Amber & Crossing the Line, Unappologetically

I am a crazy cat lady, clearly. I have, in 2008, embraced my master status. In fact, instead of "Don't temp fate, in 2008," or the later addition "Being home is great, in 2008," my resolution for the year should have been, "It's never too late, for more cats in 2008."

As a celebration of my new appreciation of my inner (and outer) cat-lady, all I want for Christmas this year is the Meow Town Treehouse Hideaway.

I learned from this website that not having one makes me a bad cat owner.

"Active cats need a safe place to climb and play, and the Kitty Treehouse provides everything kitty needs to have fun."

They need the Kitty Treehouse in order to have fun. I almost let them have fun just chewing on wires and chasing their tails. Tragedy averted!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Amber & Puffiness

We, as living things, have a love/hate relationship with puffiness.

Some things are loved just because they are puffy. Examples:

But, in other cases, puffiness is called "inflammation," and we dread it. Like when Kevin tried out being puffy as a senior in high school...

...or when my feet got puffy this summer and wouldn't fit in my favorite shoes... ...or now when Woody's face is puffy from his dental surgery.

I have trouble deciding if Woody is good puffy or bad puffy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Amber & Back to Almost Normal

Last night, I brought Woody home from the veterinary hospital. Four vets, $1,929.50, and six teeth and a soft palette extraction later, he is nearly back to normal.

Immediately on entering the house, he devoured two cans of kitty crack

and then a can of Nature's Crack
(whole fish not included), and then groomed all the drool-covered parts his body acquired over the past week.

Then, he spent about 20 minutes trying to shake off his fentanyl patch and let Ginger lay down right up against him.

Then, he climbed under the covers and laid down under my leg tent and fell asleep.

I woke up this morning to his paw in my face telling me it was time for food (and pain meds).

It is so, so, so blissful to have my beastie buddy back. I had thought, last week with his lethargy and crankiness and two erroneous diagnoses of a "neurological defect," that we had lost him forever. Home safe, little kitty.

Thank you, Dr. Daniel Carmichael, veterinary dentist extraordinaire. And thank you Abbie Leibowitz, veterinary resident with smarts and a heart. You guys are my heroes.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Amber & Burgers & Tags

Hello, it's me, CRD. I'm guest-blogging for Amber today on account of how she is unavailable. She's busy now lighting the paper lanterns and making 1000 paper cranes for the New York Gardening Society's Annual Godzilla Festival.

One thing I know Amber is that she sure loves burgers. Once, we went to the outlet malls and the highlight, after doing Fast Math at the Talbot's Purse Collection store, was the McDonald's Cheeseburgers. Or, was this a robot doppelganger, Liz Lemon, up to her eyeballs with the possibilities of the white-hot thrill of the burger?
God Bless, Amber. Blog again soon!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Amber & Feats of Bravery

Last weekend, I got a blast from the past, superfun visitor in the present, and an exciting plan for the future.

Terri Beth braved New York's crowds and the five flights of stairs to my apartment (seven if you count the outside steps) and came to visit in order to help me with the goal I set last year. She is great. We had a super nice time. It turns out, even after 24 years of friendship (!), we still have lots in common including our love of chocolate, a favorite pastime of programs, and the realization that kittens are absolutely insane.

Pickles ate the cord to my camera, so I can't actually show you Terri Beth. But I can show you the damage that Ginger did to Terri's laptop. We came home to find he had rotated the screen to portrait (notice the text is sideways?) so that Terri had to hold it like a book to read it. (Luckily, CRD is a Vista Genius.)

We ended our adventure by battling a roach in Next Door. It was running along the back of the bench toward a jaded New York patron who, although aware of it, thought she could stare it down. Terri squashed it quickly and then, when unsure of what to do with the squished corpse, turned to me for advice. I advised her to "leave it, leave it!" She did, but unfortunately the only place to do so was right in plain sight. I wont be eating there again anytime soon, but boy did we have a laugh afterward.

Good times!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Amber & Summer Memories

Remember when Amy, David and Young Miss Hazel came to the Garden for an event I dare not mention lest it show up in the blogroll of my Vice President of Deciduous Trees?

This is what it looked like then.

David and Hazel are enjoying the grass and clapping.

Remember how, on that same day, I gave Young Miss Hazel a poncho that I had crafted?

This is what that looks like now.

Remember how I had to work the event, planting bulbs around the stage? And how it was wicked hot and miserable that day? This is what that looked like.
You may not remember, unless you were there, that Young Miss Hazel Bee enjoyed her first lollipop on that day. This is how incredibly cute that was.
Sigh. Good times.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Amber & Autumn

It is fall. You can tell because there are leaves on the ground and I have been wearing my brown skirt with the leaves on it, too. Other signs include: acorn squash, the tortilla soup I made for dinner last night, and the fact that I am wearing wool socks today.

I've been bad at blogging not because of fall, but because I've been distracted. Some of the distractions were good and some not so good-- I'll be updating you this week.

In the meantime, enjoy the season.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Amber & the Craft of Dining

Last night we had a swell Birthday Fancy Feast to celebrate the wiggly, baby arrivals of Kevin and CRD into the world. We went to Craft for simple, well-prepared foods. Deliciousness, delight, and fun were had by all.

Although this guy from New York magazine wasn't floored by Craft, I was very impressed. There was some initial disappointment over dessert when Kevin discovered that the Lemon Beignets with Lemon Curd & Vanilla Ice Cream weren't on the menu (Kevin loves Lemon, but not Liz) and Diana and I were told that there were no pumpkin fritters left. (CRD was only disappointed when I accidentally made a pass at him.) But, the pastry chef, our hero, brought us out a delightful assortment of other goodies. And we got take-home biscotti which I am about to eat with my Webster Cafe coffee.

Thanks for being born, fellas. It sure tastes good to have you in my life.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Amber & CRD, Best Friend Ever

Today is the anniversary of the birth of CRD. What a joyous day! CRD has so many marvelous traits that I wouldn't be able to maintain the pith and brevity which defines blogging if I described them all.

This photo, taken by Jimmy, pretty much sums up those traits.

He has good hair, likes cats (especially squishing them), is nice to have brunch with, and is very smart. You can see evidence of the smart because he is wearing a warm coat and it is cold outside.

Happy Birthday, CRD!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Amber & Evidence

Remember my theory that the squirrels are advancing a plot to take over the world? Well, Nick managed to capture evidence on film. Or, not on film, but in digital facsimile.

Now, it may be hard to tell what's happening there (other than Nick keeps his Sure cool by the window), but that is a squirrel climbing on his screen! Nick thinks this is the same squirrel that lived in his air conditioner last year. Notice how fast the squirrel is, how advanced his physical training has been. He makes James Bond look wimpy.

This is a shot of the squirrel moments before his stealthy run.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Amber & the Welcome Wagon

The big news this weekend, aside from Kevin's birth, was kittens. Friends ventured uptown on the weekend A Experience (never a fun time) to meet Ginger & Pickles and to praise Woody & Tiggy for their tolerance.

I had promised non-stop kitten scampering, but, when CRD came up, they were out like little fuzzy lights. It seems they have a routine: 6 am to 11 am- scampering; 11 am to 5 pm- sleeping; 5 pm to 10 pm- scampering; 10 pm snuggling. Luckily, CRD enjoyed the cuddling and still got to do some smooshing like a potato pancake.

Later in the evening, just about when the nap was ending and scampering recommenced, Jimmy and Alisa came up. Oddly, although Ginger had been the most outgoing during CRD's visit, Pickles was the star of the show.

Alisa, although clearly infatuated with Pickles, was really kind and paid extra attention to the adults. I think it helped. This morning, Woody joined in a game of Mouse Hunt with the kittens... until Ginger decided W's tail was the prey and Woody decided he didn't want to be eaten and ran off-- but without hissing.

There are plenty more kitty pics here and then some fantastic ones taken by Jimmy, like the one of Alisa above, here. That should get you through the doldrums of a Monday.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Amber & Kevin's Birf

Today is a very special day. It's Kevin's birthday. I met Kevin in an NYU dorm room in 1991. He was tall then and dancing on his chair in a stocking cap to the Pixies. He's changed alot, but at the same time not all. He's still incredibly special, giving, and tall.

Happy Birthday, Kevin!

Even Pickles, who doesn't even know you, is super glad you were born.

(Pickles photo by James )

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Amber & Why I Can't Blog Today

Ginger won't let me.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Amber & Una Loca de Gatos

Yesterday, I adopted two fourteen-week old baby boy kittens, Ginger & Pickles.

I know, I know. Four cats for the next ten years. Insane. No one will marry me. I'll have to clean obsessively or I will start to stink, lugging litter up the stairs, etc. Believe me, I know. But? It makes me and my first chakra happy. And these little babies I got from New York Pet-I-Care needed love and a home, and I can give both. And Dr. Schaubhut thinks that adding these buddies to the household will make, eventually, for a happier, less stressy dynamic.

So far, the introduction to Woody and Tiggy is going along well enough. Surprisingly, Woody is more of a noise-maker about the kittens than his sister. The kittens are fearless and scamper about everywhere, coming up to sniff the adults and then scampering away. There's hissing and some swatting, but nothing really major. My biggest concern is that Woody spent a big amount of time on the kitten counter yesterday, just trying to stay out of the whole thing. The kittens are locked in the bathroom for the day, but I hope tonight, when they come out, some more time will remind Woody and Ms. Winkle that they, too, were kittens once.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Amber & The Credit Crisis

How 'bout the economy?

Poor Kevin is in the midst of his second bank collapse this year with the death of WaMu. (Note to self: pull money out of any bank Kevin chooses next.) I've given up shoe buying in order to make sure I have enough savings in case things get worse and the city decides to let the garden go to weed. It's ugly out there-- and confusing.

Luckily, Beatrix Potter left us this explanation of the credit market which really cleared things up for me when I re-read it.

Thank you, Ginger & Pickles.