Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Amber & Pombupani and Frankie

A while back, James made me aware, via this article, that Tabla had a food cart. Now, I love Tabla so much that I was thrilled, rather than envious, to hear that Kevin and Diana were taking Shane there for his birthday dinner. So great is my love of Indian food, and Tabla's particular take on it, that I want to share its bliss with the world.

James and I had a series of scheduling conflicts which prevented us from partaking of the cart together. But yesterday, Kevin and I ventured over there... and I went back again alone today.

I had the delicious lamb frankie and am still enjoying a super yummy pombupani which is a pomegranate limeade drink of deliciousness. It's a perfect drink for a summer afternoon spent checking Mother Goose, Inc., renewal notices for typos.

Don't worry, James, I will be more than willing to go back when you get back from Florida.

Amber & In Flight Movies

I am just not sure what to say about this.

Amber & Celebrities I Know

Kevin and Diana are film stars! They both appear in "What's On Your Plate?" which is a documentary about two girls trying to figure out what foods are good for them while exploring their eating options in New York.

Diana does a classic silent film star appearance picking up her farm share at the Stanton Street CSA, but Kevin actually gets interviewed! Here is a clip from the film where Kevin is talking about what a CSA actually is. And then Farmer Ted's truck rolls in.

I haven't seen the film, but Kevin did and thought he did well enough to allow me to take the fact of his being in the movie "on the record."

Kevin and Diana know so much about food. This week, I am super proud of my friends.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Amber & Pride

This past weekend made me Proud-- not just of the diversity of people and their mating habits, but also of James and his bagpiping.

You may remember that, earlier this year, James won 2nd place in a Grade IV Piobaireachd competition. Well, he's done it again! As James explains...
"Did I tell you I won medal this weekend?

"I got 3rd in Piobreachd and 5th in March. Last time I got a silver for Piob and nothing for March because the drone shutoff, but this was better playing overall. I also found the judge's feedback more helpful. I've had the same judge for March both times -- the guy who was the original NYU instructor. I hope I keep having him, so if I get gold by summer's end (a big if) then he'd be there for it all."

Congratulations, Jimmy! I am so proud of you!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Amber & Shane

I had a really fun last night having cocktails with Kevin, Diana, and Shane.

Long-time readers may remember celebrating Shane's birthday last year. Shane lives in Indiana now, but beyond that we figured out that we hadn't seen each other since prior to Our Nation's Tragedy. Is it ironic that we see each other again after the world suffers another Great Dual Loss? I don't think so.

We started the evening at the North Square lounge where I had mint juleps and Shane resisted the urge to get the beer and cheese tasting flight. Then, we went margaritas and tacos at La Palapa. Shane again was full of resistance as bucked Mexican tradition and got Prosecco (and started a fad at the table next to us.) We ended the evening with a delightful round at the bar at Eleven Madison Park. Shane got a beautiful martini made table-side. Diana got a pisco sour with egg whites.

And Kevin got a really nice looking manhattan on the rock (one big solid rock in fact) and, a couple of times, mysteriously sang the words "Bonnie and Clyde." I took a photo of Kevin with his drink, but I can't seem to iFind it. He is here in this group shot taken outside La Palapa.

But I couldn't really tell you where.

Sigh. Good times.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Amber & Kitten Birthday

And Pickles?

He spent his birthday being curly.

Happy Birf, Little Guy!

Amber & Kitten Birthday

If you were Ginger how would you want to spend your first birthday?

Why, devouring a roll of paper towels of course!

Happy Birthday, Kitten Boy!

Amber & Farm Share Week 2

Cucumbers, broccoli, baby Japanese turnips, strawberries, romaine
lettuce, basil plant, radishes, red chard, scallions and scapes. Plus,
flowers, eggs, tortillas, foccaccia, lavash crackers, and a loaf of
bread. Plus, extras: sheep milk yogurt, honey, maple syrup, and
granola. Oh my f'ing stomach!

Amber & Healthy Eyeballs

It's official. My eyeballs are healthy. I saw Dr. Leeber Cohen this
morning and he said so. Only, he also left me with dilated pupils so
large that I can't see anything and am now at work waiting to be able
to read again.

I was pleased to learn that they no longer do the puff of air test
which I always failed by not being able to keep my eye open. Now, they
touch your eyeball with an electronic wand. Not as scary somehow.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Amber & Ira

Sigh. I love Ira Glass.

Partly, I am confusing the vendor with his wares. I love This American Life, mostly in its radio format (which I listen to in podcast), but also more recently in its television format. I listen to the radio show on my commute (or, alternately I like Radio Lab) and also on Sunday mornings when I am puttering around the house. The show consistently makes me cry. It treats its subjects, people, with such respect and affection. It makes me glad to be alive at the same time it makes me recognize how hard being alive actually is.

I also love Ira's voice. Stephen Colbert recently teased that his voice was "lifeless." The notable thing on this clip is how absolutely giddy and full of life Ira actually is.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Ira Glass
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorStephen Colbert in Iraq

Nick, who used to work in public broadcasting, tipped me off to the fact that Ira used to be alot heavier. I confirmed that by watching this clip of him over at the Daily Show.

I also just have a man crush on him in a nerdy way that kicks the butt of the girl crush I have on Rachel Maddow. The salt-n-pepper hair, the goofy smile, the prominent nose. I, for one, was pleasantly surprised when I matched the voice to the face. Swashbuckling Schmaushbucking.
P.S. If you, too, like the show, this might be a good moment to contribute. They're having a hard time keeping up with the podcast demand. Maybe you could help pay for my habit?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Amber & Shoes

I sure have alot of holes in the head.

And yet, I used to have more.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Amber & Making Peace

Pickles and the Zoom Groom have reconciled.

Or, he just chewed himself to sleep.

Amber & Wall Decor

I finished putting up the dandelion wall decals. I think it looks nice.

Now, I only need to finish painting the bedroom.

Amber & Kitty Chores

One of the priority chores for the day was Getting The Fur Under Control. Some of that involved the vacuum and Swiffer, but some it involved going right to the source prophylactically with my little blue buddy, the Zoom Groom.

This is Ginger Fur which I won't have to lint roller off my pants next week.

Simultaneously impressive and disgusting, right? (I love cat fur on the cat, but off the cat it makes my lip curl.) Well, this is the Pickles yeild.

That is Pickles in the shot for scale while he attacks the brush to exact his revenge on it. I don't quite understand why he is not bald now. La Perm. I put the fur in the compost... it is just hair, right?

Amber & Friends New and Old

While doing my aforementioned laundry at Splashing Laundromat, my old friend TMJ headache returned from his brief trip elsewhere. He was pretty mild, and has since departed again with a little help from my other old friend prescription-strength anti-inflammatory.

But, while I was out on the sidewalk, seeking quiet from the very loud music in Splashing, I felt a little paw gently patting the top of my flipflopped foot.

It was this guy!Here is what I know about my new friend, who I call Mopsy. He is smaller than Woody, but his head seems a little bigger than Ginger's. His teeth, which he very gently let me examine, seem very young. He hasn't been neutered. His eyes look healthy, and he's not too skinny which makes me think maybe he lives at one of the business next to Splashing like the coffee shop that is never open or the beauty parlor which is always crowded but no one ever seems to be getting their hair done.

I asked a variety of people if he was their gato, but everyone told me that he just lives on the street. Or maybe they said he lives on that street, like in one of the shops? My Spanish isn't so good for those subtle distinctions.

He has pretty yellow eyes, and a pink nose, and these cute little white "milk drops" on his face.

When I was done with my laundry, he started to follow me home, but wouldn't go beyond the travel agency shop door. That made me hopeful that he did have a home and was afraid to stray too far. It's true that I make friends with alot of neighborhood animals, and that often they are orange tabbies (remember Penny, my Madison neighbor cat?), but this guy seemed really special and extra friendly. I am torn between wanting to see new friend again next laundry day and hoping that he is kept indoors with his owners henceforth. My old friend, Mr. Headache, can stay away.

Amber & Rainy Sundays

This pose from Tiggy Winkle really sums it up. Lazy Sunday.

Of course, it has been a rough week with my record five day TMJ
headache and then Woody's decisions to scare the fluff out of me by
puking blood yesterday (after creating two large loads of laundry
puking puke). Except for his finicky esting, the boy seems fine now
(and the Internet tells me there are loads of reasons including puking
itself which can irritate the esophagus). My jaw is looser, and my
head feels better. So, like the Wink, I plan to just rest for the day.
And do some of that laundry.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Amber & Web Amusements

Dear readers, are you bored and just itching for the weekend? Fear not! Here is tons of stuff that will waste at least twenty whole minutes of your Friday.

First, we have this fun site from the GENIUSES at the Minnesota Zoo.

Trust me, it is incredibly fun. Let me know how you do. I got this to print out and write my name on.And then there's also this site from everybody's favorite fantasy-writer/philosopher Ronald Chevalier.

Sadly, this one requires a printer up front for the trick to work (vs. printing out your certificate afterward), but I greatly enjoyed thinking about doing this somewhere that there is a working printer....

Anyhow, Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Amber & Nature's Bounty

First farm share of the season! Strawberries, scapes, lettuce, potted
herbs, snap peas, bok choy, red and green kholrabi, scallions, red
kale, green chard, a weird half dozen of eight eggs, and a lovely
bouquet of calendula. I am so excited.

Amber & Pooh Coats

This season has seemed unusually rainy to me. I sure wish I still had my Pooh Raincoat from Sears.

I do still have my friend Kelly via Facebook. And I recently posted this photo to my wall, and she recalled how much she, too, loved her raincoat.

Meanwhile, CRD recently posted this photo of himself as a tot.

That's not the same tree, is it?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Amber & Mornings, Good-style

I'm testing out throwing one house-chore goal into my morning routine. This morning, I did the dishes.

I didn't make a giant pot of oatmeal for breakast; that pot served as my dish pan. (Notice, CRD, it's called a dish pan.) And there are so many plates from feeding cats. Four of them. Sigh. Dish-o-librium.

P.S. Does anyone want my coffee maker? I moved it into the cabinet above the stove today to avoid temptation, but I don't foresee myself using it any time soon. I still have two french presses which I will keep to use for loose tea, but I think I should say goodbye. It has a self-clean feature and an auto-timer so it can start itself in the morning! Let me know if you're interested and you are withing carrying distance without having to check luggage.

[Update 11:49 AM: CRD claimed the coffee maker.)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Amber & Sewing

I abandoned the old Craft In Progress. It was a crocheted sweater using a really thick, fuzzy yarn. I just couldn't see the difference between the stitches well enough. I never really got enough done (well) to update the project status from "About six inches!"

So, this weekend, I got back in the sewing habit. I did some work on some long overdue craft gifts, but realized that I lost the challenging faces for the project. I need to buy some toner and print them out again (since I can't cut a circle even with a pattern) but then I should be able to wrap them up pretty quickly. Just in time for Christmas!

In the meantime, I started a new garment!

I've shortened the dress in the photo on the pack to be a blouse and am using a Michael Miller fabric called "Pod Vine" in avocado. I had washed and pressed the fabric ages ago. So far, I've cut the pieces and basted them together. Tomorrow I have Awesome Club, so I don't expect to make much progress until Wednesday when I plan to put all the pieces together.

Maybe I can wear it to First CSA Pick Up this week!

Or, maybe it will never get finished and just become a cat environment.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Amber & Performance Reviews

On Friday, I got my first real performance review from my boss. I got three gold stars!

I am performing well at swimming, good working and no coffeeing. Yay, me!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Amber & Cafix

So, I love coffee. But, it doesn't love me so much. Thus, my last hurrah has ended and I am trying to go coffee-free.

Kevin advised me to not think about changing my health and eating from the papers again as one big switch to pull ("now! I am perfect from now on!"), but rather to make better decisions in the moment. That makes so much sense to me since I have trouble digesting big changes to begin with (and coffee). Kevin also told me about this product that Diana drinks: Cafix.

It's made from barley and chicory and contains no caffeine. The point is that it is supposed to be a delicious hotdrink that fulfills the sensory gap left by removing coffee from one's consumption. My only experience with these coffee-substitute drinks has been at Angelika Kitchen where their grain coffee is always a meal-end treat.

This is my first morning with Cafix, and let me tell you it is pretty delicious.

I added some creamline milk, some honey and some cinnamon and served it up in my favorite morning mug. It's downright delightful. No, it doesn't taste just like coffee, but it has the hearty, rich, earthy flavor that feels like waking up. I am having a super nice time on the couch drinking my beverage with kitties. Thank you, Kevin and Diana.

P.S. Pickles just caught and ate a fly. Now he is coughing funny. I think it tickled his throat.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Amber & Signage of Mysterious Meaning

Not to totally JD CRD's excellent coverage of Signage of Bafflement, but WTF, management company?

So, let's parse these instructions. If we're being told to either walk our bikes inside or lock them outside, something other than those two options must be happening to necessitate the sign. Are people riding their bikes inside? Or maybe locking their bikes inside? Walking your bike outside seems acceptable, so that's not the instigating issue. Given how narrow the hallway is, I am guessing that people couldn't really ride their bikes into the elevator. But, I'm one those people who can't even ride with no hands.

Then, the addendum to the instructions makes it even more cryptic. Did the courier service in the building get upset, thinking they were falsely accused? Or, are they above the rules? Maybe they can ride their bikes inside? Or lock them inside? And "as per management" refers to what? Is that the signature to let us know who left the sign? Or, maybe they are above the rules as per management?

What a baffling start to my work day.

Amber & School's Out!

Congratulations to Diana on her last day of the school year! After today, she can sleep late... like to 7:30 or something crazy like that. And, she can do lots more grilling in the Garden like we did on Memorial Day. (Diana is seen here with Kevin, CRD, Lizzie and watermelon.)
Of course, I hope next year Diana actually graduates from pre-K. She seems super smart to me, and pretty old to be taking pre-K this many times. (Ha! Joke where I pretend not to know she is a teacher!)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Amber & Kitty Mystery

What's this guy doing?

Thanks to CuteOverload.com for reminding me that Pickles isn't that weird. For a kitty.

Amber & Fraidy Cats

This is Pickles.
And this is my teapot, in the midst of brewing my morning decaf Earl Grey.

Now, Pickles isn't know for being the bravest cat around, but he reached a new peak of Scaredy Catness this morning when I placed the teapot on the table and went back into the kitchen to get my cup. As I reentered the living room, Pickles jumped up onto the table (which of course is strictly verbotten). Only, when he landed and saw the tea pot, he shrank back in terror. He nearly fell over backwards ("pulled a Woody") trying to get away from the dasterdly pot of warm liquid.

Pickles:teapot::Amber:life without Pickles.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Amber & T-Storms

It is a dark and stormy morning.

And it appears that it will be one all day. I woke up around 6 am on account of thunder. The sound of the thunder didn't wake me; it was the sound of the kitties scrambling across the floor to their respective hiding spots. They are, I discovered after extensive searching, scattered throughout the apartment. Woody is in the armoir, Pickles is under the bed, Tiggy is under a sheet on the couch (that is meant to be an environment for her to lie on), and Ginger is behind the file cabinet under the desk.

I like the rain but a morning without kitties is a gray morning indeed.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Amber & Award Winners

Congratulations to James for winning this smashing medal...
...for placing 2nd in Grade IV Piobaireachd! James has been playing bagpipes since freshman year of college, and has put alot of hard work and patience into it.

James had a nice day after winning his medal. In addition to winning a medal (I'm so proud of Jimmy!) James says, "We saw caber tossing, sheep herding, bands competing, and I ate a meat pie, a sausage roll, a steak sandwich, a frozen lemonade, a strawberry smoothy, and some sips of Irn Bru which is nasty."

And he had that fancy sporran, too.

All this, and now it's Kitty Eyebrows Day. What happy times!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Amber & Bahn Mi Club

After yummy Korean sandwiches on the Lower East Side, we sit and
notice it's summer.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Amber & Taco Club V

And some people are just happy to have such fun.

Amber & Taco Club IV

Some people catch up on their periodical literature.

[I also originally called this one Taco Bell. Thanks to Kevin for noticing.]

Amber & Taco Club III

Some people are happy after tacos.

[Edited: My subconscious desire for Taco Bell caused me to misname this post.]

Amber & Taco Club II

Apparently, tacos make people skeptical.

Amber & Taco Club

Live blogging, post tacos.