Friday, February 27, 2009

Amber & Marketing Genius

How adorable is this?

Only, I feel sold on cute animals rather than whatever brand of cell phone that is.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Amber & Officemates

Please meet my new officemate, Sake.

Best job ever.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Amber & Rediscovered Selves

James is an excellent photographer, so it was not surprising that I found so many of his photos squirreled away on the eMac while I was cleaning it out. What was surprising is how many iChat screen clips James has taken-- and I have saved.

There's this one, for example. I have had those jammies (and Tiggy) for at least ten years, so they're not terribly helpful at dating the shot. The glasses look reddish which would mean they were pre-fall 2006 when I got the same shape but in black. James is in the apartment he has now in all these shots-- you can see his reclining chair behind him.

The apartment kind of looks like it might be in Madison, but I'd have to be sitting on the coffee table since I had a computer cart and the background was a fire place like in this shot.

When was my hair that blonde in Madison? I know I bought those cat ears with CRD on a trip to Target. For some reason, I am wearing my old blue rectangle frames there. I never really liked those, but the lady pressured me.

That one is a classic. I am living on Avenue B-- you can see the brick fire place behind me. And the papasan is that green thing just over my shoulder stage right. Over my left is the drying rack, with my purple sheets and the weird star and flower patterned futon cover. My guess is this is early 2004.

There are, of course, many more where I am wearing face masks, or have a towel on my head. I'm never very glamorous in these shots, but they sure are fascinating bits of history. Thank you, James!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Amber & Rediscovered Cuteness

Look who I found when I was cleaning out the eMac! If you knew me in 2003, chances are I made you sit under the loft bed at the eMac and watch this several times.

See how his tail is curly like a cinnamon bun? Cinnamaroll: evidence I have long been a fan of cuteness.

Amber & Jimmy Time

Yesterday, I got my bangs trimmed for free, bought a perfectly-sized pair of jeans, went to Murray's Cheese Shop and got malted milk balls, had Laundry Club with CRD, watched a Doris Day movie that made me think I was having LSD flashbacks, and had a really delicious Mexican Brumch with Jimmy.

I took this picture of Jimmy while we were doing errands. He had to hold my coffee so I could press the black button on the camera.

Then, Jimmy took this picture of the two of us. I look sort of droopey, but I think that's from the cold windy weather and incredibly bright sunshine.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Amber & Toad in the Hole

James is on a quest. For this dish, known as Toad in the Hole.

Check your local pub menu and let me know if it's offered.

Amber & Monkey Panky

I admit it. Sometimes I succumb to peer pressure. I received this plea this morning by e-mail.

The Republic of Jimmistania officially requests that the Amber & blog address the issue in the crazy Chimpy Lady story of what the Post refers to as her dabbling with her pet in "Monkey Panky." Furthermore there is a resolution that the blog entry should be entitled "Amber & Monkey Panky." Hereforthwith rightfully resolved upon this date in the year of our Post-Soviet Anarchy, February 20, 2009 under the dutiful supervision of President Jimmi.

I will, in the interest of truth, point out that a chimp is an ape, which is not a monkey. When I made this note to Jimmi [his spelling], he suggested an alternate title of "Chimpy Connubulation." I can't wait to see what Google searches lead people to my blog now.

I have no comment on this story other than the fact that chimps are not house pets, and I think it's criminal to pretend they are. Or lovers.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Amber & S.I. Ouch

With motivational help from CRD in the form of a morning song on my voice mail, I am all chiropracted. Dr. Magic described my shoulders as ropey, which explained why they felt tight, and he did the electrical pulsing tingle on them and rubbed them a bit. And, he determined that what I described as "sore butt" was actually a rotated sacroiliac joint.

This is a mysterious part of the body of which I was not aware until this morning. Well, I guess I was aware of it in that it was sore, but I did not know that the pelvis wasn't one whole bone thing.

To remedy this ouch, Dr. Magic, my new hero, stimulated the muscles with ultrasound and then with a vibrating thing that felt like a floor buffer. Then, he made his adjustment. It's pretty sore right now, but in a different way than before and I feel like I can walk with a little less pain.

God bless, chiropracticing.

Amber & Chiropractic Mornings

Good morning, Sunshine! Why I am posting before 8 a.m. in the midst of my week of unemployment? Why am I not sleeping until noon or waking at 10 and then spending an additional two hours petting kitties before I start up the Internet?

Because, dear readers, I have a chiropractic appointment this morning which I had scheduled while I was employed for an early hour (9) without realizing I wouldn't need to get to the office afterward.

I had a good first appointment. I wasn't even sure if my problem (ouch in the shoulder) was something that could be treated by a chiropractor. And, beyond that, I wasn't even sure if chiropractic treatment was bunk. But, my fellow gardener, Ariel (date her!), described her chiropractor as a magic man. And it was pretty amazing. I felt more fluid, less stiff, immediately afterward.

I'm going back today with a bit of a stiff neck and a slight hunching in my left shoulder. I can't wait to see what tricks are in store for me today.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Amber & Dumplings

Yesterday, after a hard day at the office listening in on conference calls, Kevin and I went back to his house, where Diana, who was home on vacation, had separated a whole chicken and turned it into dinner. Diana had wanted to greet us at the door, wearing a '50s housedress, and I wished we had briefcases to set down before our martini. But, instead, we got the most delicious chicken and dumplings I have ever eaten.

Those are delicious collards on the side. And I got some kind of breast of meat that I ate in its entirety. Also, that is champagne! We toasted to my new job, Kevin getting fat, and Diana being free of back pain.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Amber & Puffy Tails

Can you believe how puffy this tail is?

I plan to spend my whole week off contemplating how a tiny cat could have such a puffy tail and not be a squirrel.

That and clean my house, finish painting, and relax.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Amber & Final Countdown

My super sweet co-gardener Jenn made this paper chain for me.

I tear off one link for each day I work. Jenn had considered making a link for each hour of the work day on Friday, but then decided that might keep me from actually getting any work done.

I think this might be the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me while I worked here. Except maybe when Agnes bought me apple sauce. Or when Jenn gave me leopard-pattern fingerless gloves.

Amber & Good Uses of Time

CRD told us about this website today. I made this.

And that is why I was late for work.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Amber & Two Ambers Not Sleeping

Update: I just got home and the doorbuzzer is still going "nnnn nnn nnn nnn." Seriously? Is my building manager out of its mind?

Amber & the Sound of One Amber Sleeping

The intercom system in my building is a whole barrel of boondoggle. When I moved in, it worked fine; visitors could buzz me to let me know they arrived, I could ask who they were and then listen to their reply, and then, if I wanted, I could buzz them in the front door. My management company ruined everything by installing a so-called upgrade.

With the new system, I have a fob instead of a key for the front door. I am only allowed one, so whoever gets my spare keys can’t get in the building to use them on my apartment door. And, once they installed the new system, it no longer worked for me. When visitors buzz, I now yell to them out the window, go down the five flights and let them in. Upgrade? I think not.

The final straw has crippled the camel. The system seems to be malfunctioning. The speaker at the front door emits a “nnnn nnn nnn nnn” noise every few seconds at full volume, which I can hear in my apartment. And the speaker in my apartment actually is working for the first time, nicely broadcasting the “nnnn nnn nnn nnn” noise in my hallway at a lower volume. You cannot imagine how annoying this is unless you’ve ever had a neighbor who went away on vacation and forgot to turn off their alarm clock.

Worst of all, the “nnnn nnn nnn nnn” sound does indeed sound like an alarm clock. I could not sleep last night at all, since the intercom kept telling me it was time to wake up…all night long. At 4 am I downloaded this Sleep album to play in an attempt to drown out the sound of the intercom. It was a mellow mix of world music and it worked quite nicely. Only, when my fancy mellow alarm clock went off, I didn't hear it at all. The chimes just sounded like background sound in the music for the first two hours. Luckily, at 8 am, Ginger decided he loved me too much to let me sleep a minute more and nosed me awake.

Thank goodness there is a 6 pm showing of Shirley. I might need to go to bed a little early tonight. And that intercom better work.

Wait, did I mention my rent is about to go up $4 per month to pay for the capital improvement of the buzzer system? I wonder if the 24-hour torture sounds will increase it by another $1.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Amber & the Bobby Soxer

To gear up for my Fabulous Shirley Cinematic Monday, I watched The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer on Netflix's online Movie Viewer. In addition to an Oscar-winning screenplay by Sidney Sheldon, it has an amazing cast: Myrna Loy, Cary Grant (I luf him) and a teenage Shirley Temple!

Ms. Loy plays a lady judge-- a 1947 version of Judge Judy, only more screwball. Shirley is her younger sister who develops an age-inappropriate crush on the title-named bachelor and lady-magnet, Cary Grant. Mayhem ensues! And I won't spoil things by telling you who winds up with whom but there's a girl-on-girl bar-fight, a town picnic, snappy screwball banter and plenty of pouty Shirley.

Luckily I found this on YouTube, lest I should think I had dreamed it up.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Amber & Watermelon Cats We Know

It would seem that people are not the only animals pondering the nature of the relationship between cats and watermelons. Cats are confused, too!

CRD pondered the relationship here, and then I did further research into whether watermelons are the cats' best friends or worst enemies. James took this photo of Baby Scarlett looking baffled by her watermelon companion.

Clearly, Baby S. saw this LOLcat and wanted to test the affinity herself.

Oh the mystery! I think Baby S. was unconvinced.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Amber & Nuggets of Goodness

Nick sent me to this page where you can hear our Commander-In-Chief say naughty words, and I found, on the site, a link to this page where you can hear a man make romance with a food, slow-jam-style. The page is worth visiting for the comments alone.

Here's a little taste.....

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Amber & Fenugreek

Amber & Shirley

"Good luck needs no explanation."

Boy, oh, boy was Shirley Temple right. Kevin brought to my attention that, as part of their timely series of economy-in-the-toilet-related films from the Other Great Depression, Film Forum is showing the classic Shirley Temple film that started my personal obsession with the Little Princess.

STAND UP AND CHEER(1934, Hamilton MacFadden)
The President names Broadway producer Warner Baxter “Secretary of Amusement,” a new cabinet post created to “put smiles” on the faces of Depression-plagued Americans, but it’s toddler Shirley Temple who steals the show with “Baby, Take a Bow.” Plus cartoon, Confidence (1933)! Monday Feb 9; 6:00, 9:00

Now, you may or may not know that when I was a little girl I wanted to be Shirley Temple. I don't mean that I wanted to grow up and be a famous tap-dancing darling of the silver screen. I mean I thought that if I could learn to tap dance and somehow get my chronically flat hair to pin-curl and wear puffy pretty dresses and pout just so, I would turn into Shirley Temple. When my mom explained that I would always be Amber, but, with practice, I could be Tap-Dancing Amber, I sobbed for hours. She made it up to me by buying me this doll.

I immediately had my mom take pictures of me holding the doll while wearing my polka dot dance recital costume. I don't remember ever seeing the resulting photos, but in my mind's eye, this is what they looked like.
You know where I will be on February 9.

Amber & Special Weather Statement

My throat is feeling much, much better this morning. But, I sure wish I could stay home today. Or at least this morning.Issued by The National Weather Service
New York City, NY
4:20 am EST, Thu., Feb. 5, 2009



Who wrote this Special Weather Statement? Kevin? Someone in the hat and glove industry?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Amber & Snow Days

I have decided to take a Snow Day today, not because there is too much snow to make the trek into the Bronx...

...but because I could barely sleep all last night. Plus, I am about to lose a week's worth of comp time, so what's 7 hours?

Apparently, when your body feels like there is something caught in your throat-- something on fire maybe-- it keeps waking you up. No matter how many times I told my body You're not choking, it's just a hole in your food tube I kept waking up.

This really confused the kitties who thought it was time to be fed at midnight, 2 A.M. and then about every hour thereafter.

I'm also very very hungry, but eating hurts. So, for breakfast I will have some slippery elm bark tea. Stupid.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Amber & Drug-Induced Esophagitis

Sometimes, the ridiculousness of my health astounds me. On Saturday, I hurt my hip while doing my Anada yoga. Energy and joy flooded my body cells, and joy sure as heck descended to me. I woke up yesterday and could barely walk for the shocking pain, but over the course of the day it got much better thanks to All Day Strong Aleve.

Then, last night, I had an Old Devil Moon tribute meal with Kevin and Diana (chicken-fried tofu, collards and sweet potatoes), and then a night cap with K&D and Art-o at the Ironically-Named Bar.

When I got home, I was a little sore again in the hip and decided to take another Aleve since the first dose had been so successful. I got a glass of water, took my usual host of nightime drugs, drinking most of the water to wash it down, and then popped the Aleve and finished off the water. I then immediately went to bed.

I woke up at 3 am in excruciating pain. Apparently, there hadn't been enough water left to wash down the Aleve and they had dissolved in my esophagus, causing a large ulceration in the lining of my "food tube." Owwwwwwwwwwwwch. There is apparently nothing to be done for this except eating orange vegetables, avoiding dairy, alcohol and cold or acidic foods.

I wonder what Anada affirmation stimulates healing of your stupid bone?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Amber & History

Kevin sent along this photo which he took on February 2, 2008.

Diana and I are standing in what is now my bedroom, discussing the merits of the apartment. That bald fellow is Casey, the broker, walking back through what is now the kitten runway into what is now my living room.
A few things that are different now than then might include:
1) I now live in N.Y.C., not D.C.
2) The floors in the apartment are now covered in cat fur, not plaster dust.
3) Instead of being about to take a job at the Garden of Botanical Delights, I am about to leave one.
4) The purple scarf I am wearing got peed on and then thrown away.
5) Diana's hair is much longer and very nicely styled.
A few things that are the same:
1) That blue coat still desperately needs to be dry cleaned.
2) Diana still hyper-extends her knees, ostrich-style.
3) I still rely on my friends for fellowship and support and I continue to love them super much.
4) 1.75 of those bedroom walls are still white.
5) There is still just that one electrical outlet in the bedroom.
Sunrise, sunset. And then: sunrise again.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Amber & Sunday Browsing

While doing my Sunday morning web browsing rounds over what I like to call a London Mist Latte, I noticed James has updated his photo blog

There are some great shots from his trip to London and some things you'll recognize from having been posted on these pages.

It's a perfect Sunday Browsing Morning now!