Thursday, December 30, 2010

Amber & Best of 2010

I know everyone is doing Best Of lists, wrapping up the year that was.  But there are a few significant and overlooked categories that I would like to address.

Like: Best Stickie Note Exchange of 2010

It's literary, involves tomatoes, and all happened on a stickie note. (Thanks to Kevin for the set-up and the blogging suggestion.)

Also, Best Ampersand Pair Received by Email.

2010, you weren't so bad after all.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Amber & Happy Monkeys

I am still pretty sick, but I managed to venture out today and experienced the Snowpocalypse Aftermath first hand.  Mostly, it meant climbing some street corner snow banks, and trudging through slush.

To prepare for this dangerous adventure, I armed myself with three items of prime safety: my ridiculous big snow boots, my super soft hoody (no, really, have you felt how soft it is?) and a novelty-t.

This novelty t is from the Short-Haired Lady Coffee Place near Nick.  Nick goes there almost every day to work, but I like to go there because they have coffee.  And because I fit in good with my increasingly short hairstyle.  And now that I own this shirt, I like to go there even more because they support monkey happiness.

Close up:

Not all monkeys going into space were happy.  But this one sure is.  He must like coffee, too.  Or short-haired ladies.

Thank you for the nice shirt, Nick.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Amber & Action Shot

Ginger, grooming my hair.

Also pictured: my Hello Kitty pjs, sickie me, and bed head.

Amber & Spirit of the Season

I love these men.

Amber & Remote Intel

Contributing photographer Peter sends this proof that buses are indeed not the way to traverse the city today.

Amber & Confirmation of Precipitation

I can confirm that it snowed here.

However, I cannot confirm these facts outlined by the old gray lady's website.
"The storm’s timing was diabolical — too late for a white Christmas, but just in time to disrupt the plans of thousands of people trying to get home after the holiday, return unwanted gifts or take advantage of post-holiday bargains at stores. Public schools were not in session, much to the dismay of many children."
Really?  Were the children in dismay?

It is diabolical of the storm to hit on the first day I am well enough to be out of bed.  I might be able to make it to the office to pick up my laptop if that didn't involve trudging through snow and fighting the wind.  You devil snow, you!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Amber & Blizzard

So, I am sick.  I was so sick on Christmas Eve, my mom and dad had to drive me back because I couldn't have taken the train.  While I am here, stuck in bed, under my cozy new comforter (another thanks to mom and dad) eating coconut balls (thanks to Auntie Carol) and surrounded by cats (thanks to Woody, Tiggy, Ginger and Pickles), this is what is happening outside.

Danger! Decorations!

Some days, you are glad to be in bed.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Amber & Festive

Check out my sister's socks.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Amber & Hello, 2011

I look forward to your arrival, new year, and I embrace you with this motto.


I also offer you this rhyming resolution.

From the roots upward
My spirits to leaven
In two thousand and eleven.

And I sing you this theme song.  (Or, really, I sing along with Joe Pug.)

I look forward to your arrival.  Whenever you want to get here, I will be ready.  And so will my first chakra.

Amber & Articulate Intelligence

My alarm clock is sick.

It told me so itself.

Add the extra L for extra illness (illlness).

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Amber & Multitasking

How do I do it, you ask?

Work full time for Mother Goose Inc. (and pretty darn well if my department's contribution to the bottom line is any evidence)?

Stay in touch with both my friends and pop culture (my BFF)?

Maintain compelling web content meant to maximize audience engagement on this blog, a go-to source for serious journalism on topics as broad reaching as Hat Hair, Kitties, and Television?

And, all the while, manage to kick the behind of my own Sudoku score?

I have an amazing muse, darling reader.

Muses, even.

Amber & Runners Up

It's that time of year where I am auditioning theme songs for next year.  So far, there's a good bit of Jenny Lewis in the mix.  This one doesn't fit my aspirations for 2011 at all, but maybe I could have a Guitar Twang of The Year?

The official video, which is sundrenched and warm, is here.  It's even twangier, but Jenny won't let me embed it.  Maybe because of that first link to her childhood appearance on the Golden Girls?

Amber & Tabula Rasa

Remember those days?

I do.  And I remember this song.

Although I like to think of it as being about Tara and Willow rather than Michelle Branch and either her goldfish (?) or her hobo friends (?).

Monday, December 20, 2010

Amber & Two Things Kitties Love That Are Hard to Photodocument

1.  Woody loves spooning under the covers.  See him?  He's curled up against me on his side under the blankets which my arm in the foreground is holding up?

(I love it super super much too.  He is so warm!  And he purrs the whole time.  So do I!)

2.  Ginger loves arugula.

(That's hard to document because his eating technique involves biting onto the leaf and then shaking his head to rip off a bite-sized portion.)

Amber & I Know What Girls Like

My office (well, Kevin and I) has a holiday tradition (well, we did it this year) of participating in the Holiday Toy Drive sponsored by the amazing Coalition for the Homeless.  When I worked at Tap Dance Monthly, we did a similar thing but I sort of like the idea that my gift is anonymous this year.  I like the idea of someone who knows the children matching gifts just as much as I liked picking nice things for Baby Jymmy (who is now3-1/2 years old) based on how many Y's there are in his name.

The Coalition for the Homeless has an amazing Wish List, sorted by age group and gender, to inspire your gift-giving. I picked "12 and Up Girls" because that's a super hard age, even if you have a home.  And those poor girls are maybe even more aware of their situations than younger children.  Plus, I got to go to Claire's Accessories.

Actually, the store was a little overstimulating.  There is sure alot of bling in that store.  I managed to find three nice pairs of "Hoop Earrings," one "Charm Bracelet" (with butterfliesI love butterflies!) and a set of bangle bracelets which were not on the Wish List, but I see around my neighborhood on the girls alot.

I really like this holiday tradition and program.  And there is still time for you, dear reader, to participate!  They even take cash gifts if you've vowed to stay out of the stores this week.  It makes me super happy.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Amber & (Wiki)Leek and Potato Soup

Today, a day where I woke up with feeling under the (cold) weather and had a so-called "lady" start a fight with me (pushing!) over a dryer at the laundromat (Oh woe that Splashing Laundromat is still not opened after the fire in the building), is the perfect day for leek and potato soup.

Thank you, CSA, for the potatoes and leeks.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Amber & EOY 2010

It's official: next year will be 2011.

So far, it looks like it will be a year full of possibilities.  Lots of opportunity to define the year and organize my priorities.  One might even call it a blank slate.

Now, all it needs is a theme song, a rhyming resolution and a some goals.

Also, my birthday falls on a Thursday next year.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Amber & 'Tis The Season

A tower of delights from a vendor. Really, mediocre chocolates. But still.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Amber & Festive Times

Kevin and I are having "nog time."

I love this time of year.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Amber & Tree Trimming

Fellowship, fir and festive music.

Amber & Tiny Cakes

Today, Kevin's dreams were realized.  Imagine his joyous surprise when we got a box from Swiss Colony, his boyhood favorite.  "I hope they are petit fours," said he.  And lo!  They were.

"It's my dream come true," said Kevin.  The card said simply, "HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO MY PROFESSIONAL COLLEAGUES!"

Thank you, Oh Tiny Cake Giver Alison.  And Godspeed, tiny cakes.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Amber & Back In The Day

A often forgotten fact about me is that, for a brief time, before I left the island (only to come back in season 6 because, well, life was better for all of us on the island, even with the smoke monsters and ridiculously crowded 1 trains) I lived uptown.

My LaSalle Street apartment was lovely and significantly less expensive than Avenue B.

There was a large, lovely kitchen.

There were lovely French doors to the bedroom which was a totally different room than the living room, unlike Avenue B.

And there was a lovely claw-foot tub in which I took many, many bubble baths...

...and sometimes, kitties took naps under.

And then there was the "second bedroom."  Now, by most standards this was a closet.
True, a closet big enough to fit a computer desk, but it was a closet.  The rods for hanging outfits and the shelves gave it away, as did the fact that it was too small for either a couch (living room) or a bed (bedroom).  But the real estate lady insisted it was a bedroom.  When I pointed out it was too small for a bed, she explained, "You can put your baby in it."  And that, I certainly could have.

One not-forgotten-about thing about living on LaSalle Street (other than the fact that real estate agents lie like sound-absorbing rugs in rent-controlled closets that you can put your baby in) was that it was super close to Dinosaur BBQ.  They've recently moved across the street (to a new site which seats 30 more hungry clients and will have outdoor seating in better weather) and are now in that weird area under the bridge on 125 near Fairway (don't even get me started on how awesome having Fairway as my main grocery store was--except for the walk back up the Tiemann Place hill carrying way too many impulse purchases).

Dinosaur is definitely a place I would take visitors who craved ribs.  I can't tell you if the brisket is any good because I just get sucked in by the ribs every time.  The sides are awesome, too.  I love the sauteed greens (which are vegetarian, vegetarian people!) and the mac & cheese and the Syracuse Salt Potatoes.  And they have a super beer menu.  And it is festive; there is a painting of pigs, a steer, a goat and some dinosaurs playing cards!  (That seems like the very definition of festive.)

And did I mention the ribs?

Sigh.  I miss living way down on 125th.  James took this great photo of me at Dinosaur once, and you can tell I am super happy (even though I lived in Wisconsin at the time and am probably just happy to be in NYC).

He also took this one of CRD, but CRD looks more pirate than happy.

Happiness means different things to different people.

Amber & Something's Fishy

This time of year, I start to crave Fish House Punch.

We were friends for many years, FHP and I, and many holiday parties were well and festively spent together.  (Although there are stories out there about people who had too much of a good thing and then woke up with the Abominable Snowman stomping around their heads.)

Wikipedia tells us the root story of my favorite winter punch might just commemorate ladies being allowed into the Schuykill Fishing Club for the first time and that it was concocted to "please the ladies' palate but get them livelier than is their usual wont."  Exactly: being a lady I can say that it is indeed both palate-pleasing and lively-making.

Plus, every cocktail should have its own song.

There's a little place just out of town,
Where, if you go to lunch,
They'll make you forget your mother-in-law
With a drink called Fish-House Punch.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Amber & Signs and Their Meanings

This can only mean one thing.

It's time to pull out the purple puff coat.

And maybe one of those flags to help me cross the street.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Amber & Is It Wrong?

Is it wrong that when I discover a new Castle on Hulu, I clear my schedule for the evening (even if the things on my schedule were unloading the dishwasher and sewing an obi belt), pour myself a tall glass of Chardonnay, put on some lip gloss and snuggle in on the couch?

And, even if he is sort of developing a strange width to him, Nathan Fillion, you really are ruggedly handsome.  There is more of you to love.

See you tomorrow, world.

Or, really, in 43 minutes.

Amber & In Your Dreams

Last night, I had a dream I was in this video.

Like, not wish fulfillment that I was some kind of ballerina background dancer interpreting Just Jack's interpretation of The Cure, but I lived in that exact apartment building.  I was waiting for the super to come see why my microwave wasn't working.  My apartment inside was exactly my current apartment, but it was in that rundown British building.  And it was snowing.

Sometimes, my subconscious is very boring and obvious.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Amber & Black-Eyed Ambers

Also, why do I have black eyes today?  Not the usual black circles under the eyes (I know why I get those), but really dark circles around my eyes, specifically darkest on the bridge of my nose?

They're even darker than they look there--the Photobooth flash really washes them out.

Possible theory:

Amber & Geography Lessons

I bet that when you think of what lies to the north of you, if you are in the U.S. (and Google Analytics tells us many of you are not-- Hello, one person in Thailand!), you think of Canada.  And then maybe your imagination stops there, reflecting on the value of the loonie and how they still read up there.  But, maybe you are forgetting that even further north than Canada is The Arctic!  And maybe they have great brunch places there.  On what's left of the ice.

Likewise, even farther north than where I live is Inwood.

(On that map, I am way way down below the bridge.  Sooo far south.)

That's right, people who think I live in the Bronx, there is a whole neighborhood above me, complete with another 40 or so blocks of Manhattan.  And an amazing brunch place.

And, somewhat ironically, maybe you learn about this brunch place from your friends who live downtown, because maybe it takes someone from Oklahoma to plan a trip to The Arctic.  For brunch.

And maybe it's an international expedition with a friend from Sweden, a place further north than even Inwood, but so far north that it's like you crossed the north pole and came out on the other side.

And maybe you liked your reuben so much that you will definitely go back sometime soon, but maybe not today because the weather conditions are too severe for an expedition to the north.

I mean, look at those menacing flurries.  And that Feels Like.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Amber & I Heart Him

Some days, I spend the whole day just waiting to get home, scoop Woody up in my arms, bury my face in his neck and sniff.

He smells of afternoon naps, oatmeal and enchantment.  At least that was the scent I got from him this morning.  He always smells like love.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Amber & Juicy, Alright

So, Juicy Couture is the latest high-profile Fifth Avenue tourist shopping destination to be invaded by bed bugs.  And our friends over at Racked had this amazing photographic evidence.

There's a joke there about how bedbugs suck blood and it says JUICY on the butt of those annoying sweatpants, but I am too busy being smug about the whole thing to articulate it.

Also, here is an informative video about bed bugs and their reproductive cycle that kept me awake for at least one night.

I don't know which would be worse: having bed bugs or having to wear those awful fuzzy track pants.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Amber & Noah

This photo cannot convey the very wet Armageddon happening outside my window. I might hide under my desk. (Jimmy says I have been hanging out with Pickles too much.)

Amber & Fancy Hats

Some rainy, sleepy, sort of gray days you just need them.

You know?