Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Amber & Business Trips

Oh hai. I iz in Trenton doing biznus.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Amber & Kauka

Thanks to a generous gift by Nick, I have a new officemate named Kauka.

I learned all about him thanks to a fabric tag on his bum (which also tells me that he is surface washable), and from Jane Goodall's website.

I hope this little buddy, with proper love and care and lots of baked onions, gets bigger and stronger and lives to be a wise old ape, like Gregoire.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Amber & Ladies' Garment Workers' History

The calendar pages have flipped over twelve times and we find ourselves back on this sad day in New York City, the 98th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.

And, we find more chalking that looks so, so familiar.

I wonder if Kevin knows about this part of New York history. I'll send him a link to this post so he can learn more.
And then we'll review where our office fire exits are.

Amber & Seal Cats

Luckily, CRD introduced us to Sirotan, so we can appreciate this Japanese cat video.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Amber & Why I Was Not Blogging

Maybe I had a super busy Monday. Or....

The Mail Online has this article about a bunch of gorillas in Rwanda who get drunk on the alcoholic sap from new bamboo.

Look familiar?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Amber & Memories

I am sitting at the laundromat, but, instead of being bored to brain
mush, I am remembering happier times. Like, last Saturday when I was
90 minutes late to brunch at La Palapa, and then no one found any good
shoes at the Fleuvog basement sale. But there were fun times, Bloody
Marias, and pussy willows. It looked like this.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Amber & Happy Spring

Today is the first day of spring.

Snow? Really?

Really. Although the photo is lousy, there are big hunky flakes.

Is it global warming? Or just Mother Nature reminding who is the boss?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Amber & Pa

Happy Birthday, Dad! I am glad you were born, so, so, so long ago.

Amber & Science

I know you probably are one of the 3 million people who already watched this, but Nick just sent it to me again, and I enjoyed it just as much on the second viewing.

What a swell guy. Men with cats are so in.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Amber & February Updates

James updated Snapshot Artifact through the end of February! There are some super shots in there, including a couple of buddies you might recognize from this blog.

There's one of Woody which I think he would rather forget.

And one of Pickles when he was even more baby than he is now.

Plus, some beautiful night shots from Egypt. I hope we get caught up to the present day soon. Or, maybe Jimmy could take a page from the Amber & play book and skip some days or blog twice when he has two good images ready to go? I check the site daily, but I am also one of those people who eats all the cookies in one sitting. So, feast or snack; I am happy.

Amber & Blogging from the Road

Eddie B., my New York co-worker's brother-in-law who once made me the best milky coffee drink with chocolate in it I ever had and who is an all-around swell guy, very helpfully sent me this link.

Eddie points out how handy this would be when I am traveling. I could take my blog with me.

Click on the image to see it bigger. I didn't want to offend the very talented artist by infringing on his copyright. What foresight!

Amber & Bodily Displacement

I had quite a health-related morning. First, there was a "sick passenger" on my train. Unlike on Sunday when that meant an "Irish" person puking in the corner, this meant an overdosed junkie murmuring for help. This delayed my journey by quite a bit. Luckily, there is cell phone reception at the bottom of the center staircase on the downtown platform at 59th Street. (I think it's because there is a transit police station at the top of the stairs.) I was able to call and let my chiropractor know I needed to reschedule... half-way through the appointment.

Next, I saw the podiatrist. I learned that, in science, we call a big toe a "great toe" so that it doesn't develop anxiety about its size. The front of my the metatarsal on my great toe has, as I saw on x-rays, a bony ridge thing that developed as a result of the stress put on it from being en pointe. Ballet, although beautiful, is apparently not good for the body long-term. The podiatrist recommended cold compresses to reduce the inflammation around the joint and gave me a shot of nice stuff (herbs and cortizone, I think) to reduce the present acute inflammation. (A shot in the foot sure is weird. They freeze the foot first.) Also, he told me not to wear Earth Shoes. (Go ahead, James; you knew it.) The lower heel puts increased pressure on my metatarsals and the flexed foot could be what is boo-booing my ankle.

Immediately after the podiatrist I saw my Favorite Person Ever, my chiropractor. I had a subluxation on my left shoulder part, but other than that, my legs were even and he thinks we have turned a corner. Of course, he also forgot I had four cats and thought I only had two. Wishful thinking, Dr. Cooper.
This is my body, and it's the only one I've got.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Amber & Pre-Patty

Yesterday, James marched in the Park Slop Saint Patrick's Day parade with the all-stars from the NYU pipe band. Someone other than James took this photo of James with two Lady Horse Officers.

James reports that Our Favorite Brooklyn-ite Amy Bee saw him marching and piping, too. Maybe when Miss H gets a bit bigger she'll want to take up the pipes, too?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Amber & Barfi

Jimmy and I reinstated our standing weekly lunch plan known as "James Lunch" or "Amber Lunch," depending on who you ask. We ate at Chinese Mirch near the office and had a nice lamby dish and a noodle thing. Both were quite delicious.

Afterward, James introduced me to an Indian candy known as "barfi." I kept telling James not to call it that, but it turns out that is its real name. Wikipedia explains why I love it: it's sweetened condensed milk in sold form with flavors. What's not to love?

We tried three flavors. We split a really tasty carrot barfi that was muy moist and delicately sweet. And then we had a chocolate barfi that was more dense and slightly fudge-like. And then we had one that was flavored with tumeric and cardamom. This had a very odd name.

I didn't know CRD's boss was a Indian cook.

Amber & Little Things

Diana identified CRD's signature home decorating style as cutie animals, and I think I've modified that for my signature office decorating style. You already met my apple-chomping hedgie binder clips which Alison adored and Nick gifted unto me, Boston-style, but the hedgie clips have lots of little friends. Meet, for example my froggie head erasers. Jimmy bought these for me about twenty years ago (seriously).

I photographed them next to the smallest thing I have in my office: the miniature buttons on my BlackBerry. (Oh the typo mayhem!)

There are also these little panda bear binder clips, but I have less of those because Pickles found them before I brought them to the office.

Jimmy also bought those for me years ago at the same time he bought me this panda flash drive robot. His little head comes off to reveal a USB plug.

My signature office style is cutie, tiny little animals that serve an administrative function.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Amber & Knowing Thine Audience

This one is for you, CRD.

And we thought we were the only ones reading that gay subplot into The Rundown.

Amber & Shirlies, Surely?

Sure, I love Shirley Temple.

The tap dancing, the curls, the pout, the smile with the dimples. (Not so much the running for Congress on a platform of pro-Vietnam War-ness.)

But, did you know I also love Shirley MacLaine?

Not the belief that JFK was adbucted by aliens so much, but the early film career. I love her fresh ditziness in fun films like The Trouble with Harry, The Apartment, and Irma la Douce. Plus, she has the prettiest short hair and those big doe-eyes.

CRD thinks she's the poor man's Doris Day. I submit as evidence to the contrary the following.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Amber & Too Funny to Not Share

I know if all I did was post LOLcats I got from Icanhascheezburger.com, there would be no point. They do it better than I ever could. But this one was too good not to share.

I saw it at home this morning, but spent the whole day secretly giggling to myself over it. If we had a copier, I would see if I could recreate it with Sake.

I used to worry that culture was in decline and the end was near. But, LOLcats showed me hope. The future isn't bad; it's just different. And spelled bad.

Amber & Snack Sharing

A nice thing about working in an open office environment is that sometimes your coworkers share snacks.A bad thing is that all the officemate hedgies make alot of chomping sounds when you're on conference calls.

Amber & Kate

Last night on the way back from the soup party (I was running late), Shuffle decided to play me two Kate Bush songs in a row, "Moments of Pleasure" and "The Morning Fog." I think these are arguably two of the prettiest songs ever. They're both about happy things, like laughing with friends over absolutely ridiculous things like saying, "don't talk to me like I'm listening to you," or singing "Closer" in the Broadway-style, or being excited about the Witch Mountain movie. There I was on the A train and Kate got me a little choked up on account of singing beautifully, reminding me of my youth, and making me appreciate all the special little moments... like watching this video.

Thanks, Kate, for being important to who I am. Listening to Hounds of Love in the early morning on headphones and my dual cassette player while petting Megan is my root story. Or at least it explains my love of interpretive dance, red lipstick, and my friends.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Amber & My Inner Barney

Once in the vaguely-late-80s, I saw an episode of Family Ties. I didn't watch the show regularly, but I saw this one episode that made a long term impression on my thinking. In it, the Tina Yothers character, whose name I only learned today, is about to celebrate a birthday. Wikipedia recaps thusly.

Jennifer — bored with her nice but unspectacular friend Beth, and desperately seeking popularity — wants to make some new friends, but has trouble at first. Mallory offers some well-meaning advice to act like a valley girl, which Jennifer takes seriously when she approaches a cool cliqué of snobbish girls, all having trendy clothes and hairstyles. All this takes place as the family prepares to celebrate Jennifer's birthday. As usual, Steven plans a series of kiddie-style birthday activities, at which point Jennifer loses her temper and leaves with her new friends.
Wikipedia, in typical fashion, leaves out the critical detail. The dad's fatal error in planning the birthday festivities is that he does all of the decorations-- streamers, balloons, cake plates-- in purple. This is the Tina Yothers's character's favorite color. I'm not sure if it is her favorite color for just the episode, or for the whole series. Anyway, she normally loves purple. But her "snobbish" friends think purple is for babies.

In 1987, I was devastated. Purple? For babies? I loved purple. Tina Yothers and I had so much in common-- the middle name Louise, a surprise younger sibling, and a love of the color purple (not that musical by Oprah). And purple was uncool?

Of course, this was a two part episode, and I missed the second part. Who knows if Tina ever embraced the purple and accepted her love thereof?

The scars from the episode may have finally healed. Check out this Barney action I'm sporting today.
Purple, I love you.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Amber & The View From Here

My new job at Mother Goose, Inc., is different than my old job in many ways. In addition to the big difference of me not taking bus trips with the constituency, there is also a very different look to my new office.

This was the view from my old desk.

Grand and snowy. Actually, it was the view from standing up on top of my old desk. The windows were pretty high up off the floor and I was too short.

This is the view from my new office.

There are still plants, but less, and the windows are still high up, but more relative to the ground and less relative to me. And I still have my blue Garden bottle that will give my babies beards.

One big difference is that I have officemates. You met Sake already, but did you meet this guy?

Look how hard we work! He wasn't even posing for the photo. I swear.

Amber & San Francisco Treat, NY Times Style

Look, ma! It's my job. And there is a photo of my co-workers I just met in San Francisco.

For those too busy to read the whole article: The economy is in the toilet, so I need to work hard to make sure I still have a job next week. Still, better than furlough so far.

Amber & Back to It

I am home safe from San Francisco. I had some waking up trouble this weekend, showing that I really had adjusted to California Time better than I had believed while I was there. Plus, we lost that hour. And, I lost another few hours just staring into Woody's eyes.

But, now I am back in my morning routine. Only, I've been gone so long that Ginger seems to have forgotten he's not allowed on the counter, that the weird machine makes coffee, and that I promised to protect him from all small kitchen appliances when I adopted him.

This photo can't convey the hissing coming from both the coffee steam and the baby cat.

I love New York.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Amber & Progress

Getting closer. Via AirTrain.

Amber & Homeward Bound

We're on our way. Via BART.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Amber & Fitness

Look at me totally at the gym, post-workout before 8 am local time!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Amber & Complimentary Beverage

I am enjoying my Hotel Rex complimentary Merlot after another day of
meetings. Next, I have dinner at the big boss's house.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Amber & Hotel Rex

This is my bathroom and the pretty lamps in my hotel room. It is nice
and cozy. And there was adventure this morning worthy of Jessica
Fletcher. my bathroom ceiling was leaking, and, because CRD and I
watch so much Murder She Wrote, I was sure there was a dead body in
the bath tub. But because I was so tired, I told the front desk
instead of going up to investigate in true WWJD style. (To be clear,
the J there stands for Jessica). Since the leak has stopped, they must
have cleaned up the crime scene. My money is on the secretary.

Amber & Arrivals

We're here! And eating breakfast. It was a long day of travel (thank
you, snow) and a short night of sleep, but we are here.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Amber & Flight Cancellations

Due to the winter storm, my flight tomorrow morning has been canceled. Kevin has already moved onto a later flight, but, mysteriously, I remain on hold with Delta, listening to the most mellow mix ever. I get the feeling they want me very calm when I finally get through. I wonder if that works for them.

The universe sometimes balances itself. For example, if I had to be on old for two hours and still get on a plane tomorrow at 8:30 from JFK, I would be worried about finishing packing. But, since I know the earliest flight I can get on is at 4:45 pm tomorrow (the one Kevin is on), I know I have plenty of time to finish packing.

I am usually very good at packing, but there have been some delays tonight, named Pickles and Tiggy.
Like my new bag? I am really into that "grass green." It matches the cat grass and Pickles's eyes.

Amber & eMac: Adopted

Tonight, my dear friend eMac went to live with Noreen and Ted. eMac was good to me for many years but since they invented Hulu, which is meant to be watched on the couch, was replaced by something smaller and more portable. But, he was a solid computer. Many years of Quicken and e-mailing were shared between us, and for that I am glad that he is getting a good new home.

I am also glad that when I worked at the Bronx Garden of Botanical Delights, I met Noreen and that she married Ted. They are nice people, they gave me Hauschka stuff, and they do good posing on demand.

I look forward to cooking for them at some point in the future, when my table is not covered with stuff that I am taking to San Francisco tomorrow morning. (Since Ginger is on the table, he gets to go, too, right?)

Amber & Disholibrium

Where I am at now.

Amber & Remote Blogging

Where I am at right now.

Amber & Road Races

Shortly after I woke up this morning, intense drumming started outside my window. I mentioned this on the IM to CRD, and he informed me that there was a road race starting in front of my house that our mutual acquaintance, Tyler, was running in. Once I got up the courage to face the cold, I confirmed this theory.

Also, while I was looking out the window, I discovered this bag full of bags on the very edge of my fire escape.

I think someone was chilling their bag stash overnight and it blew under my window.

Also, it is snowing. There are so many surprises this morning!