Friday, January 29, 2010

Amber & Wish Fulfillment

My water was shut off when I woke up today.  The management folks said that there was "work" being done but couldn't really tell me when it would be back on.

So, I have spent all day just hoping to be able to shower, fill the kettle for tea, and change the kitty water dishes.  And lo!  Almost seven hours later, my wish has come true-- sort of.  The water is back on, but it's not what one would call potable.

Would someone please explain to Woody that sink hands are not a good idea right now?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Amber & My Literary Heritage

One of my new morning rituals is that I spend some time reading every morning while I finish my milky Earl Grey tea (Diana-style).

Now, it's not that I am suddenly jumping on the bandwagon of adults reading children's literature (and I don't really see anything wrong with that other than that they should be reading more crime dramas), but this book is actually one of the more delightful reclaimed artifacts from my youth.

How did I recognize the book and know it's not really some copy my parents picked up at a flea market and thought was my heritage?  It's inscribed.

This is the copy that my elementary school BFF, Valerie, her sister and her mom gave me on my 7th birthday.  (Good inscribing, Susan.)

The great thing?  Valerie is now my Facefriend.  And she has a daughter.  And I bet her daughter will read Charlotte's Web.

Sunrise, sunset.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Amber & January Searches

Another fascinating glance into the minds of my readers.

 I'm not sure what's more surprising: that someone went looking for a "sealizer" or that they wanted a shoe made of "body parts."  Or that I have my own day of fitness?

Amber & The Morning Funnies

Ha!  Those zany physicist jokes.  Get it?

Me neither, but it has dueling cats!

Monday, January 25, 2010


The one paw resting on the belly, just above the pink hairless part, really seals the deal of cuteness.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Amber & Starring Surprise Guests

This is my week for stars surprising me by guesting on my regularly scheduled programs.

First, there was my suave sweetheart Robert Wagner on NCIS, proving that fate doesn't punish you for killing Natalie Wood by taking away your hair.

Then, there was my BFF Scramble2 For Free by Zynga on 30 Rock.

And, tonight, I discovered my Empire Records and (much underrated Dick Wolf revamp of) Dragnet fave, Ethan Embry, on my much beloved House.

Despite the fifteen years that have passed since Empire Records, Ethan is still adorable, even when playing a culottes salesman.  But he seems to have less and less hair as time goes by in a hair cut kind of way.
Maybe there's some inverse relationship between notoriety and plushness of hair?  Maybe hair can get in the way of being taken seriously as an actor?  Maybe as he ages his hair just doesn't grow as long?

I sure don't take Robert Wagner very seriously with all that lushness on his head, but if Ethan's hair continues to shrink, I'll be scared when he makes his 80-year-old appearance on whatever procedural detective show I am having downloaded into my brain 2058.

Amber & Laundry Day

Woody loves laundry time, mostly because he gets to lay on the
mattress cover which is, for some unknown reason (maybe because it's
normally forbidden?), very exciting.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Amber & Artifacts (Found)

On Boxing Day, my parents gave me the last surviving box of my youth.  It was an odd mix of things that were leftover after two moves and a giant yard sale.  Some of the stuff was surprising, both because it had survived and because I had forgotten it had ever existed.

Like my prom glass.

I mean, who has a prom glass?  And, how on earth did something so fragile manage to be one of the last remaining traces of my youth?  And, most importantly, where am I going to keep it?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Amber & Liz Lemon = Me

Really?  Really?

FYI: I'm on Scramble level 96 on my iPhone.

Amber & Kissable Cousins

The Mystery Guest Cat in today's Kevin Drum e-newsletter is a flame-pointed Siamese, just like Woody.
I think Woody is more handsome.
(photo by whomelse?  James)

Although Rustle does live in a home with nicer carpeting.

Amber & Kapps

Some mornings before work, you just have to play a little Amish Bonnet with Pickles.

I mean, look how much he loves it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Amber & Special Guest Stars

Yesterday was the day for surprise special guest stars.  First, Taya joined Peter and I for post-acupuncture ramen (short wait this time-- maybe because the temperature wasn't so deathly low, so the weather wasn't as ramen-ready?).  It was really nice to see her--for the second time in a week!--and the ramen were as usual delicious.

I was so into eating my noodles that I neglected to photo-document the festivities.  But she kind of looks like this.

Then, I came home and watched a NCIS on "the other, lesser Hulu."  I like NCIS because it's like Bones but with less guts and more sailors.  Imagine my joy when my Number One Thief Crush, Robert Wagner, made an appearance as the dad of one of the characters whose names I never bother to learn.

How does he still have that awesome hair at 80?  Like a fine wine, that one, I tell you.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Amber & New Career Paths

I just signed up for ice skating lessons!  On Mondays at 7:00 pm, I'll be refreshing my on-ice skills and, I hope, developing new ones.

Now, I just need to get my mom to make me one of those outfits over the weekend.

When Kevin gets back from his doctor's appointment, I'll break the news to him so he can start finding my replacement.  Nick told me the shocking news that Ice Capades are out of business, but I think I will make a great Princess Jasmine.

Or, I could be the skating alligator, like in my second favorite ennui comedy.  (Wait for it.  It's in there.)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Amber & What Wasn't For Dinner

Glen Bell, founder of Taco Bell, is RIP. (Hat tip to Jimmy for the news scoop.)

First the SpaghettiOs Man, and now the Taco Titan?  It's like someone is picking off all of the giants of my childhood diet one by one....

Amber & The Simple Pleasures

In the middle of the night, I made a sleepy attempt to reclaim my pillow from Woody.  Although there are two pillows on the bed, he likes to lay on mine, and I know it's not about togetherness because he often winds up nudging my head off the pillow altogether.  So, sometime before dawn, I decided, in my half-awake state to try to create an environment more enticing than my pillow.  And it worked.

It's now the most sought-after environment in the house.

It's just a bunched up sheet on the other side of the bed, with a pillow against it, but I guess that's very snuggly.  (Sorry, CRD.  In the darkness of night, I thought it was my yellow sheet.  I will, of course, wash it again before returning it.)

You'll note that Pickles is snuggled down on the environment with Howl, the wolf bean bag toy.  This is a sign of a truly great environment-- it's comfy enough that you can bring and nap with your prey.

(See Howl sticking out under his tail?)

Of course, the whole point of the environment was to improve my sleeping, and Woody's arrival with Howl, making all kinds of primal, well, howls, was not so conducive to that effort.  But, it sure is a good environment.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Amber & What's For Dinner

Penne with a chunky tomato sauce with lots of garlic and capers. With
Fresh Direct ready-to-bake garlic bread. Stay away, vampires. You are
not welcome at my dinner table.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Amber & Awesomeness

Sigourney Weaver, cats, lasers, and intertextuality run amok.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Amber & You Are What You Eat

RIP, SpaghettiOs Man.

If it wasn't for you, Candice and I might not have survived to adulthood. Or, maybe the will to not starve would have been strong enough, and we would have found something better to eat anyway and been healthier adults?

Amber & New Bangs

I got new bangs.

Don't they make my hair look longer by their own shortness?

I'm back on my planBraid puffs: here I come.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Amber & Things That Aren't Sciences

In the first phase of my effort to become Carol Channing, Project Smile, I went to the dentist for the first time since DC last week.

The good news is that I had no new cavities, although we know that may or may not be true since dentistry is not a science.  The even better news is that my old medical crush, Dr. Clauss, DDS, is aging as gracefully as ever.  And the best news is that I don't have to have those anxiety dreams where I go and Dr. Clauss tells me all of my teeth need to come out and it's going to cost six million dollars.

The bad news is that from having to stretch my wee dainty already winter-chapped mouth open wide enough for him to fit his man hands in there to see how much damage I am doing to my molars by grinding, I got a small cut in the side of my mouth which has turned into a cold sore.

(Yes, I am part of the 80% of the US population who gets cold sores--although other web sources seem to suggest 80% of us have been exposed and only 15-30% of us actually get cold sores.  Anyway, I am one of those people.  Stop reading my blog if you are horrified at this point.  Go ahead, close that window and mutter "leper" under your breath.)

Yes, it is true that I was running a fever of 102° over the weekend and maybe my immune system was a little compromised.  So, it's not really all because I went to the dentist.

But assigning causality for my health conditions is even less of a science than dentistry.

Anyway, it only hurts when I make my Carol Channing smile.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Amber & Uniqlock

What do you do when you are sick all weekend with a fever that is draining on your mental capacity, have watched all the Netflix Avengers, watched Lost In Translation (your favorite ennui comedy) twice, and even tried watching Caddy Shack only to discover all those people who say it's funny are wrong?

You watch time pass on the Uniqlock.

It's like synchronized swimming on land.  Why does it exist?  To tell time and, of course, to sell clothing in Japan size.  But maybe also to soothe my fever addled brains?

It's also available as an iPhone app.  And, at the top of the hour, they do a longer dance.  Oh, and it changes depending on the (Tokyo) time of day.

Ah, fever.  Ah, Japan.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Amber & Eyes

Look at the way Steed looks at Mrs. Peele as she pins a carnation to his lapel in the opening credits.

I want to go to there.

Amber & Signs of Recovery

My fever is down to 99.5°F today, after a really really rough night of alternating chills and sweaty-fits.  My throat is ridiculously sore today, though, so much so that I am trying to avoid swallowing.

So, I am still confined to my sick bed, kitties, tea, and laptop.

I swear someday I am going to finish painting that wall.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Amber & Delirium

I have a fever of 102° F.  I Googled to find out why every muscle in my body hurt so, so incredibly badly and learned that it's because the temperature dehydrates you on the cellular level.  I am drinking lots of liquids, taking Ibuprofen and Oscillococcinum, and wearing a hat.

In my haze, I swear Emma suggested I eat Rainbow Brite.  And I keep seeing cats-- everywhere I look there are cats.  I must be delirious.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Amber & Patty & Bun

You know I love ramen.  After acupuncture, I can't think of anything better to eat on a cold winter's night.

(Photos of ramen and Kirk by James)

Except maybe soba noodles.

But an hour and a half to two hours wait?  You've got to be absolutely insane to even suggest it.

Instead, I tried Patty & Bun which is conveniently located to the A train.  It gets mixed reviews at various foodie sites, but I thought it was a solid burger on a really interesting bun.  And, even though the waitress had never heard of a whiskey toddy, she did her best and it came out pretty well.  Of course, there weren't many other diners which made me concerned for the welfare of the establishment.

So maybe do me, my empty stomach on the commute home from downtown, and yourself a favor and try it out?  You know you LOVE burgers.  (Well, not you, Alison, but they did have a veggie burger which looked pretty good too.)

Of course, I am going to try to go for ramen next week.  Just before the tour bus unloads.

Amber & Thinking Ahead

My birthday is just eight and a half months around the corner, so here's a helpful hint-- because there's nothing I am if not a helper.

There is a store on CRD's street that normally sells these patterned hens that I love.  They've now added a second item to their wares which I must have.

See them, there, behind the decorative hens?  They seem to be little coffee tables or stools with photographs of animals wearing suits on them.

See?  That's a cow and a cat up front and what I think is an ostrich and maybe an iguana in the second row.  I love it.  I think maybe I even need it to be happy.

Maybe CRD can go investigate and tell us more (like a price, what they are, etc.).  The shop is never open when I am leaving Awesome Club.

Amber & The Tragedy of Winter

I like winter.  At least when it's cold I can bundle up; there's not much you can do during the hottest days of summer and not get arrested, really.  And I like puff coats, and boots, and wool socks, and hand-knit scarves.  It's a good fashion season for me, maybe because it's so covering.

Plus, if you live in New York, as I do, there's not much use in wasting energy hating the seasons.  They come.  And, they go.  Sunrise, sunset.

But, it sure is hard on my hair.

It's mostly a bummer because my hair is just starting to get flippy again, and I know CRD will never get to see it as long as the weather necessitates wearing a hat.  CRD loves flippy almost as much as he loves girl detectives.

Did you ever notice how unsymmetrical my eyes are?  I sure just did.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Amber & Goodnight, Kitty

Thanks to mom and dad (and Candice for the idea) for the sweet dreams.

Those are Hello Kitty heads, people.  Close up:

Amber & Jimmy Boots

Once in a discussion about Love, Loss, and What I Wore, the pictorial autobiography of Ilene Beckerman tuned turned Broadway play by Nora and Delia Ephron, I denied having strong memories associated with Outfits.  This was, in fact, a bald-faced lie.

Case in point: these boots.

I got these boots once with James.  We were having dinner at Kelly & Ping in SoHo on a cold night, maybe way back in 1998?  There was some big space of time which we were trying to fill between dinner and I think a movie, although the evening's plans are a bit muddled in my memory.  (But, maybe some one will say something that rhymes and I can amend this post.)  It was freezing out and ridiculously windy, but it had been pretty mild that morning and I wasn't appropriately attired.  We went to Patagonia and I bought a long john top and bottom set which I put on in the store, right over the shirt and tights I was already wearing.  Then, we went into Fluevog just to look around and waste some more time, although James's feet don't like Fluevogs.

And I saw these boots on sale for $99.  I had to borrow cash from James to buy them, and, although I liked them at the time, a big part of the decision was based on being able to wear them out of the store into the cold.

And it's been a match made in heaven ever since.  I love these boots.  They are comfy; they are warm.  They survived Madison, Wisconsin.  They survived the giant puddle on the corner of 168th.  They are cute enough to wear with skirts, but have that brilliant big metal zipper on the side to give them a certain motorcycle toughness.  Like this:

Amber & Sealizer

Remember the Squirrelizer?  (And my much cheaper version?)

Well, marine mammals make memes, too.

Hee hee.  I love a happy sea lion.

P.S. Nick found this on Reddit while he was "working."  It's the number one thing over there right now.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Amber & "Normal"

I made my biennial man-sock quest to Uniqlo in SoHo over the weekend.

While, there, though, I discovered that they have a basement with all kind of lounge clothing for the ladies.  (This discovery is probably, for many readers, akin to my discovery of sodoku.)  I got a pair of stripey leggings and a couple of stripey tank tops for, well, lounging.  I discovered that I take a size large in Uniqlo, but discovered when I got home that this was not because I am settling like a lovely (but spooky) Victorian mansion but rather because the Japanese are not "normal size."

This tag was on the tank top I am currently wearing.  It says...

Japan Size
This product has been made to
Japanese specifications and is
therefore a little smaller than
normal. We recommend that
you try it on for size.

It strikes me as odd, that use of "normal."

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Amber & The New Year

2010 is taking some getting used to, but I will get back in the blogging swing soon.

One thing for sure about 2010: I do not plan to be awake before Feels Like 3°.  In fact, maybe I will sleep through all < 0° temperatures in the new year.