Monday, November 30, 2009

Amber & Handmade

Over the weekend, I made this scarf to celebrate the cold weather in Boston.  It's made with Cascade Yarns 100% Peruvian Highland Wool, using a garter rib stitch.  It was my first venture into a bulky yarn with a needle above a size 10.  I found it fast and easy, and it only sort of felt like cheating.

It has been pointed out that I forgot to smize in this photo.  That is because, for some unknown reason, I am incredibly dizzy today.  Like when you drink way too much and have to lie down on the bathroom floor after Margaritas with your boss from the music theater licensing place at a Mexican restaurant at your first job after college?  And then you swear off tequila? Only, I am not drunk.  It could be sinus congestion, or it could be an ear thing.  I am waiting for the doctor to call me back.  I really need the room to stop spinning.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Amber & Autumnal Buds

It was a lovely November weekend, complete with fuzzy buds on this tree. Which reminded me of my kitties.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Amber & Differences

This is a blog post about Boston vs New York. In Boston, there are no kitties, but there are mugs with little animal buddies at brunch.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Amber & Smooch

It is now my custom to greet Bostonians with cheek kisses. C'est arrive!

Amber & Quiet Car

Simmer down, people. This be the quiet car. You know what a library is?

Amber & I'm Off

Environments? Check. Lowell the World's Best Cat Sitter? Check. Kisses for each baby? Check. Boston, here I come.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Amber & Stuffed Stuffer Mushrooms

And the fat lady ain't sung yet.

Amber & Turkey Meatball Dolma

Amber & Mincing


Amber & she doesn't like fingering the raw meat

Amber & Pain du Chocolate

CRD blogging Amateur Gourmet bread. Easiest recipe of the day.

Amber & I took this one of her with the soup after we watched a Lucy show episode that wasn't so funny

Amber & Entertainment

The Lucy Show. I luff her.

Amber & On Deck

Bacon-wrapped figs.

Amber & Second Course

Wine, in the red style.

Amber & First Plate

Salsa, chips and guacamole while we cook. Plus, festive aprons.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Amber & Anniversaries of Births

Today is the 46th anniversary of my longest-running favorite program, Doctor Who.

To celebrate last week, Jimmy brought down a copy of the latest episode which just aired on the BBC, Waters of Mars, and some delicious papri chaat for lunch.

(Photo from the fantastically inspiring, a midtown worker's best friend)

Jimmy and the Doctor AND Indian street food made for the most enjoyable lunch hour ever in the office.

Kevin may not have been so interested in the penultimate episode starring my most crushingest crush, David Tennant, but he sure was interested in some chaat and the fresh, hot naan that came with it.

Jimmy brought to my attention that is also Harpo Marx's birthday.

This clip from the British Queer as Folk is perfect for today, merging, as it does, things Doctor Who-related and birthdays.  (Also, the show's creator was also the person responsible for the revival of the Doctor in the 21st century, which explains what K-9 is doing at a gay birthday.  Thank you, Russel T. Davies.)

Bloody brilliant, as they say.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Amber & Failed Attempts

I tried to lay in bed and blog about my weekend, but something just kept getting in the way.

Something really, really wonderful, warm, wooly and Woody.

That's him laying on my chest in front of the laptop.  Sigh.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Amber & Due to An Earlier Incident

Just when I thought the MTA had gifted you with all the celebrity, confusing service and squishedness you could handle for a weekend, I rode the train on a Saturday.  Silly rabbit.

The purpose of my journey was to pick up my first CSA winter share of the season and then celebrate the season in fellowship with Diana and Kevin.  To begin my trek, I walked down to 168th Street since it was posted in my stop that the train wasn't going north of there this weekend (which turned out to be false-- at least on my way home).

At 168th Street, there was a bulldozer driving up and down the train platform and then crossing over a make-shift bridge and unloading boulders onto a weird flat train.  This was an ominous start to what turned out to be a two hour ride (including no D service below 34th Street and a stalled A on the F line at Second Avenue).  That is the little bulldozer thing whizzing by on that train unloading thing at seemingly unsafe speeds while I waited for the downtown A.

Then, on the way home from a delightful day (which included beef stew and persimmon pudding), I went to Brooklyn.  There was no D service running from Grand Street, so I walked to the F at Delancey.  But then, there was no uptown F.  So, I had to take the F to Jay Street in Brooklyn to transfer to the uptown A which was running on the F track into Manhattan.  (Maybe you should get out a subway map just to follow along to see what an incredibly indirect route this really was.)

At Jay Street, though, I was rewarded by celebrity in the form of the Kristen Schaal who plays "Mel" on Flight of the Conchords and is a very funny Daily Show commentator.

(I chose the photo with the bird, Diana, since you liked that birdy page in Elle.)

This is Woody and me doing our impression of Kristen and her boyfriend making smoochie on the platform.

Anywhow, then the train came, and Kristen, her boyfriend, and I all got on.  Things were going swell, although mostly local, until 103rd Street when, as the conductor described it, "Something just hit our train."  Note the train did not do the hitting.  Anyhow, we sat on the train with the doors closed until a train crew arrived to check to make sure we hadn't run anyone over or a terrorist hadn't thrown a sticky bomb (I'm picturing a Wacky WallWalker with a dirty bomb in its backpack?) at us.

Once they opened the doors, there was a mass exodus.  But, as the lady next to me said, "How else would I get home?  The bus?  Puhleeze."  We even had one very angry fellow patron yell at us, "What are you bitches doing?  The train is broked.  Get your asses off."  Our decision to wait it out upset him.  But, another train wouldn't come since we were in its way.  And I just am not aggressive to fight an entire train's worth of folks for a spot on an uptown bus.  And who wants to go 70 blocks on a bus?  Puh-leeze.

Anyway, we started moving again after they determined that it was a soda can tossed off the platform at the incoming train.  And then we went express!  Whoooo!

So, two hours and 14 minutes later, I am home.  Still?  The persimmon pudding and the company of friends were worth the over four hours total time spent on trains underground.

Amber & So Many Questions

This video, called "Kitten that occupies bed," posted by a user named LoveScottishFold has occupied a big chunk of my mental energy this morning.

Have the Japanese invented some new kind of e-collar?  Why does that little buddy guard the bed so feverishly?  Is he a trained guard kitty?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Amber & More Famous Celebrities

This is Ginger and me doing our impression of Michael Richards squished up against me on the uptown C train after work. He got off at 81st Street. At that point, a man on the train said, to no one in particular, "Kramer.". And we all felt acknowledged. I also felt stupid for having thought a C on the express track would go express.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Amber & For Alison

We all know about the Engineer's Guide to Cats.  But have you seen this one?

Amber & Celebrity

Remember how yesterday I thought I was all famous? Well, Harriet has totally outdone me.

Like me, the give her job title.  But not only is she named in New York magazine's 2009 Gift Finder, but they included her photo.  And they pick out a holiday gift they think she would like.

But boy are they wrong. Harriet would never wear that hooded scarf thing.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Amber & Bizarre Analogies

Also, I am famous today.

(Paragraph six)

I am impressed he even knows that there is such a thing and that Mother Goose has one.

Amber & Also

I think my hair looks really nice today.

Thank you, Kiehl's Creative Cream Wax.

Amber & Been There, Done That

Why, oh why, would someone, supposedly a BFF,  send me this photo?

Why would you torment me like that?  Why bring back all those cold, cold memories?  My arm begins to involuntarily make an "opening the door" motion just looking at it and I swear my shoulder starts to ache.

I think the person who sent this to me should say they are sorry. 

 They are so, so very sorry.  They completely understand my frustration and wish there was something they could do.  But they are just so, so sorry.  And maybe I can go see Gingerbread Adventures while I wait for my timeslot.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Amber & The Perfect Food

You know what goes together better than chocolate and peanut butter?  Tomatoes and pickling.  I love pickles, and I love tomatoes, so pickled tomatoes take my favorite vegetable and applies my favorite preparation method.

The only thing that goes together better is Ginger & Pickles.

But they're not edible.

Amber & News Flash: Sets

I've been to the near-future.  David shared one of his Google Wave invitations with me, and so he and I and Amy have been in the year 2013 learning about what online communication will be like.

In the future, people play a game involving the mathematical principle of sets called "sodoku."  The object is to complete each row and each 3 x 3 square within the grid with the unique members of the numerical set from 1 to 9.  Having been to the future, I can tell you this game is going to be very addictive.  I stayed up past my bedtime last night (but last night in the future) dealing with a grid with just not enough 3's or 8's.  I predict (and we know how I am on the cutting edge of things) that people will play these games on paper or their iPhones on the train, in doctor's offices, and online.

Better than those games where you shoot at stuff, right?  And maybe even good for your brain?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Amber & After Laundry

There's nothing like freshly laundered, unfolded sheets to bring kitties together in sleepy harmony.

I think I need a bigger bed.

Amber & Brotherly Love

On this historic day, November 14, 2009, Pickles extended a rear paw of brotherly love, and Woody accepted.

Or, at least, he didn't hiss and move away.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Amber & Awe & Shock

I haven't blogged lately because I have been in shock.

This new kind of litter box has been popping up on the various non-LOL cat blogs and has partnered with my favorite cat litter for a contest.  It's called the ModKat.

The concept is that the kitty enters through the top there and sits inside the box.  The manufacturers swear kitty feels very private and likes the shape of the box.  I am unclear whether the kitty's head sticks out the hole or they duck down inside.  This seems to suggest the former.

(That's Thor, a testimonial kitty on their site.)  Then, kitty climbs out, leaving behind trackable litter on the meshy top thing.  Does it work?  Who knows.  But it looks nice, comes in colors to match your home (I was thinking of the yellow for the front hall) and seems interesting and they have a money-back guarantee if your cat turns out not to be a ModKat User.  And I am in the market for a new box since, somehow, the coverless covered box (the cover is No Good for my cats) in the front hall keeps getting tipped over while I am out at work.

So, I click over to the order page to get more information and enter this expense in my budget.  ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY DOLLARS.  Are you freaking kidding me? 

That is six Booda Domes, which heretofore I had thought was an expensive litter box.  It's ten regular boxes with the litter guard high sided attachment.  Why, four boxes would be $720.  Are they out of their minds?

P.S.  Don't worry.  I am not buying it.  I promise.  That is not who I am.  Yet.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Amber & Tell Me Why

The hardest thing about Mondays is not having Pickles fall asleep in your hand while you are watching programs and drinking tea.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Amber & Goats

This is a blog post about The Men Who Stare At Goats, the book versus the movie.  In the movie, there was no Uri Gelle, but there was a George Clooney.

I had read the book, which was a gift from CRD, and had been riveted by its recounting of our government's research into creating psychic spy Jedi warrior soldiers.  They did a fair job adapting an investigative report into a cinematic narrative and there were lots of Sparkle Eyes, the psychic weapon I utilize most often.  I like goats, and I want to believe that we could prevent war by carrying flowers and walking through walls.

Did I mention the movie had George Clooney in it?  He is second in my daydreams only to Cary Grant.  Like Cary, George just gets more and more.  And more.  I would pay to just watch him breathe.

I even like him with the gray beard scruff.  They should make a sequel called The Ambers Who Stare at George Clooney.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Amber & How the Tides Have Turned

Beach, what beach?

Amber & Eisenberg's

Lunch with Kevin, turkey reubens, pickles, onion rings, and an egg cream. Yum, yum, yum.

Amber & Vetiver

I know it's been the Plant of the Week before, but vetiver is totally my B.P.F.  (Best Plant Forever).

It's in the same family as my other close grass friends, palmarosa and lemongrass, but vetiver and I are so perfectly matched that it earns a special place in my pantheon of plants that yield essential oils.  It's cedary, musky, earthy smell is calming and grounding when mixed with oil and applied to my pulse points-- making it a wonderful match for my issue-laden first chakra.

To quote the folks over at Ananda Apothecary...
Vetiver essential oil is used for emotional grounding and stabilizing the emotions. It is considered relaxing to an overheated, hyperactive mind an nurturing to an insecure self-identity. The oil may then be suited to the type of individual who constantly strives for perfection, but who loses touch with the ability to absorb and replenish, not letting things just be.
I sure let things be on my walk to the 168th Street station this morning.  A normal 10 minute walk mysteriously took me about a half hour.  Oh well, that's just the way it is.  Sigh.