shoe of the day...

shoe of the day...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

a long night's journey to find my keys

those of you who know me even marginally well probably know that i have really not-so-great carma. if there is a problem with an automobile, chances are i've had it happen to me. and they're usually really, really absurd situation. i think it started about 4 years ago on a trip to binghamton to visit katie -- i was driving on route 81 when the car in front of me, which was towing a boat, lost the bumper of said boat, which i then proceeded to drive over, giving myself two flat tires in the process. numerous flat tires [one on st. patrick's day as i nursed my shamrock shake on the way to work; one driving myself and jimmy home from a movie] and car maladies [dropped my engine on route 81 -- again, visiting katie, who is clearly a harbinger of car doom; had my car towed from various locations, including the driveway of my sister's house the night we returned from vacation] followed over the years. when i purchased my current car in may things started to look up [that nonstart after vacation the only wrinkle] - my mother even commented on the change in luck.

all of those good vibes went out the window on sunday night when i lost my keys somewhere between my car -- which was parked at the foot of the driveway -- and my kitchen.

jennifer and i had just returned from shopping, picking up some odds and ends for christmas. as i put the car into park, i clipped my car keys onto my key hook. we unloaded our bags from the trunk of the foci, put her bags in her car -- parked directly in front of mine in the driveway -- locked my car with my remote, and trudged through the snow into the house to unload the rest. upon entering the kitchen, i stood in the same spot for the next ten minutes so as not to track snow into the house - moving only to unhook my nephew from his highchair. i went out to start my sister's car as she bundled up the bebes. we then took them out and put them in the car, and i went to start my car in order to change places with them as they left. problem: no car keys on key hook. the following events happened over the next 12 hours:

  • i searched the surrounding outside area for dropped keys
  • i searched the path from my car into the house for dropped keys
  • i searched the kitchen for the dropped keys
  • we searched the bags of recently purchased wares
  • we searched pockets
  • we searched the basket where the keys are kept
  • i may or may not have cried
  • i may or may not have threatened to move to a city that relies on mass transportation
  • my brother-in-law was enlisted to drive his car over, to transplant the car seats, and to take the family home, as their car was blocked
  • my niece became excited as she thought this meant there would be a sleepover [next time, o, i promise]
  • AAA was called
  • a very frustrating, and ultimately worthless, phone call with the operator ensued
  • i may or may not have downed a glass of wine, even though i was warned that drinking while upset would lead me to become an alcoholic
  • i may or may not have eaten three large cubes of cheese
  • three hours later, the tow truck showed -- confused by my inability to unlock the car [see: worthless phone call with AAA operator]
  • cookies were given to tow truck operator for not acknowledging the absurdity of the situation, and for not being an a-hole as it was below freezing that evening
  • car was successfully towed to mechanic
  • thinking that my keys were at the dealership, i called and left a rambling, semi-coherent message on their answering machine
  • went to bed
  • woke up around six-thirty
  • called dealership, gave a rambling and semi-coherent account of the situation to the service department
  • was told they don't unlock personnel files for another two hours
  • had an EPIPHANY!
  • thought: when did i last see my spare key?
  • thought: in montreal, this summer
  • thought: what purse did i bring with me to montreal?
  • went to closet, found orange polka-dot tote bag
  • found spare key in pocket
  • i may or may not have felt like a moron
  • called dealership, explained resolution to absurd situation
  • called sister, explained resolution to absurd situation
  • went to mechanic, explained resolution to absurd situation
  • told him that an unidentified car found in the lot on a given morning probably belonged to me
  • went to work, explained resolution to absurd situation
i may or may not still feel like a moron.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

sweet dreams are made of cheese

about a month ago i found a recipe for some garbanzo bean/swiss chard concoction in the new york times that i had intended to make. that intention morphed into my transcendent soup-making experience from two weeks ago [any excuse to throw garbanzo beans and swiss chard together, really.] the original nyt recipe called for a 'parmesan cheese rind' to be added during the simmering process. i thought about that while making the soup, but ultimately had to leave it out because (a) it was a last minute cooking experiment and (b) i don't have cheese rinds just laying about the house. about a week after i made my soup i had a dream involving a parmesan cheese rind: specifically, me trying to purchase one. how would one go about purchasing said product [short of buying a hunk of cheese], i pondered sub-consciously. in my dream i visited deli counters and olde world shop[pe]s on the quest for this elusive ingredient. i was unsuccessful. my dream soup was cheese-rind-less.

this past sunday i set out for wegmans to purchase more soup ingredients [as once i find a recipe i like, i tend to make it over and over. see also: meat sauce and from-scratch macaroni & cheese.] picked up the swiss chard, the beans and the broth. i had also been instructed to pick up some parmesan cheese for spinach-artichoke dip, so i headed over to the cheese counter. i shuffled through the tubs of grated cheese, looking for the right blend. picked up one container that felt lighter than the others, peered into the plastic bowl to view its contents, and thought i was seeing things -- for therein was a CHEESE RIND. wegmans was selling a parmesan cheese rind. am i kidding you? no. i most certainly am not. [also? it was forty-two cents! FORTY-TWO CENTS! you cannot buy anything, short of a postage stamp -- and who knows how much longer that will even be possible -- for forty-two cents. bliss!] i added the rind to my cart and proceeded to the check-out, severely aware of the randomness of both the find and the purchase of the rind. went home, made my soup [now with more rind!] and basked in the tiny coincidences and joys of life.

[also? i think i can predict the future.]

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

dear santa

for the grammar-phile on your list:

the large comma plate from cb2! how great!
now i just need some bracket napkins...

and for the science buff?

the atom serving tray!
[i'm thinking of using these and serving cocktails in beakers & test tubes...]

Thursday, December 11, 2008

phone home

there are few things more entertaining than phone conversations with a certain four & a half year old. especially conversations that end with any of the following phrases:

  • "ok. that's all i needed for now. BYE!"
  • "love you! hugsandkissesbye!"
  • [muffled movement as she sets the phone down and runs into the other room, telling my sister, "i'm done, mommy!"]

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


i was feeling sort of wintery-blah-ish when i left work last night and decided that the only thing that would snap me out of my post-home-season funk would be to make some soup.

real soup. the kind where you throw a bunch of random ingredients into a pot and watch them swirl and gurgle together, forming a brew of delicious goodness.

i made a quick stop at wegmans [you down-staters can keep your whole foods...wegmans is by far the most sublime grocery store in existence] to pick up some green swiss chard, some beans, some lentils and some grana padano cheese. i also bought a loaf of fresh italian bread that did not make it home unscathed [i am completely incapable of buying fresh bread and not eating it in the car on the way home. i have a problem.]

once home, i got out my never-been-used, cast-iron, martha stewart dutch oven [there's something about making a really good dish in a brand new cooking vessel that makes me happy], heated up some olive oil and tossed in some garlic and some diced onion to brown. added my swiss chard, some [store-bought] vegetable and beef broths, the lentils and one can each of kidney, garbanzo and cannellini beans. added more broth. tossed in some acini di pepe pasta. seasoned with plenty of salt and red and black pepper. let it simmer for a total of about one hour, until the beans were tender, the lentils were plump and the pasta was cooked. served it up, topped it with the cheese, cut myself a hunk of bread and went to town.

i could eat that soup everyday. seriously. every. day. why would i ever buy canned or boxed soup again? WHY?! it's so good! and so easy! and so good!

make this soup. make it. please. i promise you won't regret it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

i've got the remedy

went to wegmans this morning to pick up some much needed super-cold-fighting-tools.the woman at the checkout kept her distance...and for good reason. although she did compliment my red shoes. so that was nice.

let's juice [which i dislike], cough drops, vitamin-c drops, gigantic bottle of water, crackers, soup...yeah. it's all here.

i apologize in advance for all the sneezing and nose-blowing.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

thankful for certainty

there were many things to be thankful for last nite, as the hours passed and the election results trickled in. i was thankful for decent coverage of the returns [diane! charlie! george!] thankful to all those interviewed for being cautious with their predictions, yet still acknowledging the excitement and importance of what was likely to occur at the end of the evening. i'm thankful for certainty -- for finding out at 11:00 EST, with cold hard numbers and facts to back it up, that obama had been elected president; thankful for knowing that i wouldn't wake up in the morning with the rug having been pulled out from underneath us during the night. i'm [belatedly, as i watched it this morning] thankful for jon stewart, stephen colbert and the staffs of their shows for being both funny and intelligent and not compromising either virtue in their coverage of the evening [and the whole election, really]; for being respectful. i'm thankful to charles ogiltree for saying, "two skinny guys from illinois that made a difference...abe lincoln and barack obama." i'm thankful for this picture [via,] because it says it all. it conveys the relief, the anticipation, the excitement, the love, the respect, the glee that all those who hoped for this outcome are feeling at the moment.

one of my favorite parts of this election has been watching michele obama as she watches her husband and her best friend speak to the masses, imparting the promise of hope to all of us [because regardless of how you voted, we all need to have hope for a better future.] she believes in him. she's proud of him. i think of my boyfriend, my friends and my family and how i often feel proud of them for various things, and what a great emotion it is. and i cannot imagine how much michele obama's heart has been swelling over the past two years, watching with pride and with awe as her husband rose to this incredible challenge; i cannot imagine how they must feel today. [and i'm hoping she got to keep that dress from last nite; totally great.] there is so much significance here, for a great many reasons. i'm excited for my niece and nephew and all kids who will see this turnaround in the political and social dynamic of the country firsthand, and grow up with a difference sense of 'normal' because of it. because it has been long, long overdue. there is much work to be done, but for the first time in eight years it feels as though we have a chance to enact change. i'm thankful that we, as a country, realized that and worked toward making it possible.

i'm thankful to have been a part of this process, however minute.

Monday, November 3, 2008


oh, ARE the cheese to my macaroni.

some pictures from halloween; definitely the best costume of my adult life [thank you target children's department. also, thank you to ME for having an inordinate amount of clothes, which meant only having to purchase two pieces to complete the ensemble.] much fun was had by all...
jimmy told me i had nice bone structure. i shall love him forever because of this.

no soiree is complete without some sort of dance party.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 the future!

there is a teenage boy who works at my neighborhood wegmans who is the spitting image of my friend joshua, circa 2000. seriously. i saw this boy last nite, and 20-year-old me swooned, slightly, from within - all the while being careful not to knock over his recently constructed display of soup cans. the current 28-year-old me immediately felt old and wistful [and slightly inappropriate,] thinking back to the days of really awful cinema class projects, a cappella concerts and last-minute study sessions for such epic classes as 'the history of ireland'. we have gone on to [mildly] bigger and [sporadically] better things, which is to say that we graduated and now have full-time, paying jobs. seeing this slightly dorky, albeit completely adorable boy in his grocery store apron reminded me of how much has happened in the past 8 or so years, how different our lives have become. i wanted to tell him, "hey. i know you in the future. you go on to do some good things. don't be frustrated with the soup-stocking. also? get a haircut. it'll take you a few years to realize that shorter is better; i'm giving you the heads-up."
it would have been nice, at 18, to get a visit from future me. i would have acquired a hair straightener much earlier in life.


kendall and ciro are [finally] married! college nostalgia was in full-force this weekend, apparently. pictures from the weekend are up on my flickr page. the weekend was full of love, happiness, food, errand-running, nail-painting, hair-twisting, double-sided tape, make-up application, potential drama, actual drama and, above all, lots and lots of picture taking. and booze.* i can't speak for everyone, but i can say that i saw nearly no sad faces that day. you always wonder if the actual day will be a rightful culmination of all the planning, stress and anxiety. well -- this one was that and so much more. i can't imagine having had a better time, or the two of them having any bigger smiles on their newly-wedded faces. bliss, personified.
*this wedding was brought you by budweiser, grey goose, orange juice, champagne and not nearly enough water.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

the funny men are on top of things

for the second day in a row, a funny man has made a very clear [and witty] argument with regard to the election. such a strong, concise reasoning. i love this. i want to have coffee and make lists and talk about 'magical thinking' with john hodgman.

the excerpt [from the a.v. club]:
McCain had a reality-based argument for why he should be President. It did not rely on magical thinking in any way. It was simply that Barack Obama was too young and inexperienced to be President and McCain is old enough, certainly, and experienced enough to be President. You may not agree, but that's what we need. You may not like McCain, but that's reasonable. That makes sense. In choosing Sarah Palin for whatever benefit you might get from it politically, he's throwing out his whole argument about experience. He negated his only reasonable argument to make and instead put him on what we now see is a disastrous path—potentially disastrous, at least, of pure magical thinking. That is I think exactly what people are tired of with regard to the Bush Administration. This idea that the Bush Administration… That if I say black is white, then that makes it so. If I say Sarah Palin is tried, tested, and ready to take the national stage and is going to save my campaign on the sheer energy of her enthusiasm and rhetoric, then it will happen, but not really.

[the full piece]

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


from a recent david sedaris piece in the new yorker regarding the election [thanks to my co-worker john for pointing it out to me]:

To put them in perspective, I think of being on
an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she
asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”

To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.

[the complete piece]

Friday, October 17, 2008


just in case anyone was wondering:

i brought three pairs of shoes to work with me today, in preparation for an event we're holding this evening, because the outfit for said event has yet to be finalized. and i like options.
and i have a lot of shoes.
a lot.
[also: in addition to the shoes, i only had to pack one dress, one belt and two sweater options. i love how the feel of an outfit can be determined solely [ha] by choice of footwear.]

Thursday, October 16, 2008

a whole other kind of dressing

guys. i'm totally obsessed with this caesar dressing. obsessed enough that i made some oven chicken [chicken, in a pan, with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, s&p, random spices/seasonings as you see fit - bake at 350 for about 40-50 minutes, depending on the thickness of said chicken; throw some potatoes and carrots in there a good 40 minutes before you add the chicken for an actual meal] on monday evening -- not for dinner, you see -- but to have COLD, for lunch, the next day over a salad supporting this dressing. so, so good. and so, so NOT bad for you. all hail, cooking light magazine from june, 1996. i'm not even a huge caesar salad fan, but...this dressing will convert even the most caesar-averse. it also won't kill you, like the zillion-calorie dressings that you find everywhere.

make it. make the chicken too. my grandmother used to make it every sunday; my mom used to make it a lot as well [speaking of: momma? time to break out the rommertopf.]
you cannot go wrong; the italian ladies? they don't lie.

creamy caesar dressing
from cooking light

1/3 c. plain, fat-free [or low-fat] yogurt
2 TBS fresh [or store-bought] lemon juice*
1 TBS olive oil
2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp anchovy paste [if you shop at wegmans, it's in the canned fish aisle]**
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 garlic clove, minced [fresh or jarred]

combine all ingredients in bowl; whisk

*i used 1 1/2 TBS instead and it was still very lemony
** this was my first purchase of anchovy paste and i was ridiculously excited

nutritional information:
calories: 26/fat: 1.8g/protein: 0.8g/carbs: 1.6g/iron: 0.1mg/sodium: 124mg/calcium: 22mg

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

dear secret shoppers

if you happen to be in/near/around/thinking-about-going-to crate and barrel in the near future and are looking for a present for yours truly, please consider the following:

love. love love love love love.
the end.
happy wednesday.

Monday, October 13, 2008

healing power of tunes

i had a few spectacularly awful days, work-wise, last week. they were the sorts of days that make you want nothing so much as a really warm bath or bed or cocktail [hot toddy, i'm looking at you] at their conclusion. in relaying my frustration to my friend jorge [previously seen here] one afternoon, he said [or, typed, rather as this was over email], "i know what will cheer you up...a MIX CD." everyone knows the healing power of a good mix cd. and jorge has, in the past, offered numerous gifts of musical salvation. which is why i was so deliriously happy to see the following at my house last nite:

not one...not two...but four mixes -- each one sporting a unique album cover and belonging to the set, 'johanna's shoe shop, vol. i-iv'.
jorge: you have once again made my day...week...month, possibly, depending on the greatness of the cds. thank you, thank you. i hope you know this means i'm going to complain to you more often.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

yet another reason...

...why 'the daily show' is completely deserving of its accolades.

it's FUNNY because it's TRUE.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

thank you note

polka-dot shoes make me feel peppy even when every fiber of my being wants to throw themselves off a cliff.

thank you, polka-dot shoes.
[...and kicky purple sweater that i bought on sale at the end of last season and am now wearing for the very first time.]

Thursday, October 2, 2008

name shame

in reading the new york times online wedding announcements for the past however many years [whichissomethingidoonaweeklybasisbecauseiliketosodon'tjudgeme] i've come to the following conclusion:
if your name is SPANKY JOHNSON, you do not - under any circumstances - put that name into print. ever. anywhere. for any reason. not even if you're president. not even if you're named to time magazine's list of the 50 most influential people. not even if you win an oscar and have to have the statuette engraved. YOU. LEAVE. IT. OFF.
think of your wife. for the love of god. think of the children.
[why did no one tell him this prior to the listing? how did he get the name SPANKY in the first place? actually, forget that last question. i think we're all better off not thinking about it.]
[also? if you are 'known as spanky' -- which causes us to assume it is a nickname -- why not use your ACTUAL name? there is no way it is worse than spanky. no way.]

[link via the times]

this week in disturbing book covers: volume 1

something about their expressions just...isn't...right.

i'm assuming the image intends to invoke the rationale that police officers are safe havens for children [which, rightly so. in most cases.] but instead it feels like the boy has been caught selling drugs out of his bike basket [or out from under his ridiculously oversized shirt] and the officer is all, "GOTCHA. sucker. awwww yeah..." also, her eyes are nearly closed. creepy.

also, whoever photoshopped that image completely cut off the police officer's right hand...unless it's latched onto the boy's ear to prevent him from running away.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

keeping busy

a sampling of the madness of facebook, starring joanne elaine, melissa leigh and myself [backstory: we had chinese food last nite along with another good friend...also named melissa. joanne elaine's trannie dog was also present. joanne elaine regaled us with a story about fozzie that included the phrase 'poop string'. i think that's all you need to know. and, i'm sorry.]

Monday, September 29, 2008

dear impala

dear impala,
you have got to be out of your ever-loving mind.

go to hell.

not your friend,
the foci

Friday, September 26, 2008

the stuff that dreams are made of

as my brother-in-law pointed out last nite: "you wouldn't even care if they matched."
so true. so, so true.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

sweet letterman of justice

regardless of your political viewpoint, you cannot argue [well, you could. but you would be wrong.] with letterman's overall message. sort of frightening that neither mccain nor palin know the ACTUAL role the vice-president should play.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

dear aura

dear driver,
congratulations on purchasing a saturn aura! the accolades for this vehicle have been unending -- a panel of journalists even picked it as the north american car of the year! -- so kudos to you for doing your research and shopping so smartly. you are no doubt an intelligent person, and your car choice certainly reflects that. i'm sure, during your exhaustive comparison shopping, you noticed that car and driver magazine classifies the aura as a "mid-size sedan." MID-SIZE. SEDAN. a person of your intelligence would surely realize that this classification precludes the saturn aura from qualifiying as a COMPACT CAR -- thus rendering the COMPACT ONLY parking spots off limits. perhaps you let someone else drive the aura to work today? perhaps your screening process, which you so diligently applied to your car selection, should extend to members of the family, neighbors, friends -- to make sure they can read and comprehend words? just a suggestion.

all the best,
the foci

dear lexus,
you officially suck.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

dear lexus

dear driver,

your lexus is not a compact car. if it was a compact car, once parked, three feet of trunk space would not be interrupting the flow of traffic in the parking garage. you would know this if you took a look at your parked vehicle before heading off to work. you would also realize that backing into said COMPACT ONLY parking spot is obnoxious because, inevitably, your tire[s] will stray from within the yellow confines of the spot and obscure an even greater portion of the driveable space. please realize you are incurring the hatred of everyone who drives past your car.

not so fondly,
the foci

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

dear station wagon

dear driver:

i regret to inform you that your station wagon is not, nor has it ever been, nor will it ever be, a compact car. so please stop parking your rust-addled, gargantuan automobile in the COMPACT ONLY spot so that those of us with actual compact cars can (a) park there and (b) stop making ridiculous maneuvers when turning the corner to avoid hitting your protruding bumper.

the foci

showtune 'em up

i love showtunes more than is probably wise to acknowledge.
i did shows in elementary school, middle school, high school and college -- as encouraged by my mother, i've always been deeply ensconced in the world of musical theater. road trips with my mom always featured lengthy sing-a-longs to tapes [and, later, cds] from movie and broadway musicals. phantom, evita, music man, hello dolly! -- you name it, we knew every word. it was grand. [i'm not sure why i'm talking in the past tense. we still do this. in fact, my niece has memorized lyrics to songs from both wicked and the sound of music; it's ridiculously cute. and hilarious.] so. i'm a broadway baby. i have friends [brad, kendall...i'm talking about you] who are equally fanatical [brad moreso than anyone i've ever met. ever. ever.] i have no problem admitting it, which is why when i see clips like this one:

my heart soars. i remember watching this when it was first posted to youtube, a year or so ago. i stumbled back onto it today, after reading
this excellent interview with neil patrick harris on the onion av club site, and have been laughing about it for hours. tres hilarious.

Monday, September 15, 2008

he knows how to use them

saw this guy in starbucks this morning. he was at least 65 -- possibly older -- but trapped in the body of a 30-year old. and he was wearing a shirt from this weekend's rochester marathon, which would account for these:

his legs are defying the laws of aging. this man KNOWS things.
if john mccain had legs like this, i think we'd be less worried about his choice for vice-president.

Friday, September 12, 2008


from rosie, in response to an email i sent concerning a project we're working on:

Never have I met someone who can say 'I'm right and everyone else is wrong' so eloquently.

[it's nice to work with people who get you.]

Thursday, September 11, 2008

matt damon: &*%$^# yeah!

for those of you who don't already know this: i heart matt damon.
a few years back [before he was married, i'll have you know] i harbored a deep, meaningful celebrity crush on him, to the point of near delusion [not really, but close.] i went to new york for my birthday with some friends, and to visit my sister who was living downstate at the time, and woke up on my birthday to see that matt damon was in new york, appearing on regis & kelly that very morning. coincidence? i thought not. also: i am silly.

anyway. as i find it gross to lust after married people, celebrities included, my outright affection for matt damon has waned in recent years.

but the following video does make my heart tingle a wee bit:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

big moves

my dear friend katie is moving to turkey on sunday.

in her honor, i'm wearing the shoes she bought me when non-date moved to florida [in perfect response to the shoes i bought her when ben initially moved back to turkey.]

these are my: "i'm sorry your boyfriend is moving to florida" shoes. love them. love her. can't believe she's leaving, but am excited to hear about her upcoming adventures with ben, with her new job, with her shopping excursions. the move to rejoin ben has been a long time coming, and i've no doubt that it will be every possible form of wonderful.

Friday, September 5, 2008

food! glorious food!

in recent years, i've developed an extreme interest and love for food.
how it's prepared, interesting dishes, ingredients i wouldn't normally want to place anywhere near my mouth...i don't know if i'd qualify as a "foodie", per se, but i'm definitely paying more attention to what i eat: how it looks, how it tastes, trying new dishes and recipes, etc.

i visit with regularity, and it tipped me onto this site and it's post, the omnivore's 100. what a great idea! the list is highly varied, from pb&j to black truffle to pho. the post suggests pasting the list into your own space and highlighting which foods you've had and perhaps drawing attention to the foods you have zero interest in ever trying. like sweetbreads/#62...the thought of which sort of makes me want to vomit, no matter how many pages of anthony bourdain's writing i read that tries to convince me otherwise. [the wikipedia links to the more obscure items were provided by VGT in the original post.]

so, here it is. my omnivore's 100. the items i've consumed are in yellow. items that i have no intention of ever eating are in red.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
Baba ghanoush
PB&J sandwich
Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart (jennifer and i eat way too many of these when in nyc)
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns (in fact, i had these for lunch on tuesday)
20. Pistachio ice cream
Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries

23. Foie gras (i'm not saying i wouldn't try it...but after hearing how it's made i don't think i could choke it down without crying)
24. Rice and beans
Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted
cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu (i prefer my food without the ability to kill me)
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
Prickly pear
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal (i loathe the thought of a big mac; am wary of special sauce)
57. Dirty gin
58. Beer above 8% ABV
Carob chips
62. Sweetbreads (see introduction)
63. Kaolin (yeah, no.)
64. Currywurst
Durian (according to wikipedia, the smell of this, "evokes reactions from deep appreciation to intense disgust." so, no.)
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake

Haggis (again, no. i watched a special on the food network about how it's made.)
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette (no to intestines)
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and
73. Louche
Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie (one of my favorite not-so-secret junk foods)
78. Snail
Lapsang souchong
Tom yum
Eggs Benedict (the best of which, in Rochester -- in my opinion -- is found at Jines)
84. Tasting menu at a three-
Michelin-star restaurant.
Kobe beef
86. Hare
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
Soft shell crab
93. Rose
94. Catfish
Mole poblano
96. Bagel and
Lobster Thermidor
Polenta (my mom and i always talk about how we're going to make polenta, even though neither of us really care for it. but then we make pasta instead because we're hungry.)
Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Friday, August 29, 2008

the [queer, squinty] eye of fashion

had lunch with my dad today.

his outfit: black jeans, black sneakers, [faded] black tee shirt under [more faded] black button down shirt. black baseball hat.

my outfit:

i enter the restaurant, sit down across from him. he looks at me, squints his eyes, and says:
"i don't think that black and brown go together."

such is the sage advice given by a man who dresses like he's johnny cash.

time has come today

i've been thinking a lot, lately, about time.
some exciting things have been happening to friends and family and it's made me reflect on the relevance, presence and dissolution of time.

what's been going on/what's coming up:

  • non-date moved to florida, where he plans to stay until this time next year [something i try to not think about very often]
  • my best friend from college is moving to turkey, where she's accepted a ridiculously fantastic new job, and where she will live with her ridiculously fantastic boyfriend, with whom she's been dating long-distance for two years
  • my other best friend from college is getting married to boy she met while in college and has been dating for the past 10 years
  • my niece starts pre-school this month [i like to pretend that this isn't happening]
  • other friends are moving, starting new jobs, getting new degrees
  • friends from the bookstore recently got married; the reception was a big ball of fun, completely reflective of their personalities and love for one another
  • my mom will not be teaching this fall for the first time in almost thirty years
  • children that i used to baby-sit for are: seniors in high school, college graduates, engaged to be married [thus, i am old]
  • my nephew is 10 months old [and a cheeky monkey, which we encourage]
  • my beautiful sister, who laments her absence on this blog [ha!] and has been married for 11 years, still gets asked if she's the younger or older sister [and rightly so]

so, yeah. time. when did we become old enough to move to other countries or get married or go to pre-school? the passage of time is baffling to me. just the other day, i shut my computer off at 5:22. by the time i got to my car it was 5:40 on the nose. where did those 18 minutes go? i know that i grabbed my salad bowl from the kitchen, chatted momentarily with bit, then hoofed it to the garage [which takes about 5 minutes.] but 18 minutes? to do all that? that's almost a full episode of 'friends' [sans commercials.] in 18 minutes, i could have prepped and baked a batch of cookies. i can drive to the mall and back, from my house, in under 18 minutes.

that time passes, even while doing mundane or necessary-yet-mind-numbingly-boring things, always blows my mind. i feel as though there should be some sort of pause button, to store that time up for really important events like birthdays or weddings or running through an airport trying to catch your connecting flight. but i suppose, were that the case, we'd lose a bit of the appreciation we have for those moments [i know it sounds like i'm describing adam sandler's movie, "click", but that is not the case.] even as i sit here, typing, neglecting the work on my desk, time is passing. it's almost palpable. heartbeats are biological representations of ticking clocks.

time: you're weirding me out. behave.


and now, a funny picture:

this is jorge. in a turban.
otherwise known as: what happens when there's not much to talk about at the morning bookstore meeting

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

manga me

just for fun.

[just as i expected: cartoon me is cuter than actual me. i think it's because her hair doesn't move.]

Monday, August 4, 2008

re-entering the real world

i'm back from vacation. i'm less than thrilled about that.

i'm sure i'll be posting some stories from the past week, but for now i give you the single greatest reason to visit old orchard beach, maine:

the original pier french fries.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

toad silliness

nate was supposed to be imitating the quizno's commercials that he found so riotous, but he refused to do so for my camera phone. thus, i'm punishing him by posting fourteen seconds of his silliness and absurdity. my favorite part is the nervous-tic head duck toward the end.
[note: the sound isn't synching up, which sort of adds to the charm.]

Monday, July 14, 2008

lunch scene

overheard at camille's restaurant while waiting to place my order:

CUSTOMER: ...absolutely right. i think this smoothie is a much better idea. healthier.

BOY BEHIND COUNTER: oh, definitely. with all the fruit and the...blueberries.

CUSTOMER: blueberries are so good for you!

BBC: it's all those anti-oxidants. they're really good for your eyesight...[visibly thinking], your memory! i'd forgetten.

CUSTOMER: yes! it's for memory. i read that once in an article but forgot.

thank god for blueberries.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

you know who you are

dear bookstore customers [or anyone shopping anywhere at anytime]:

while i heartily thank you for your purchases at our fine establishment, i would like to offer up these helpful hints to aid in the check-out process:
  • please do not use the counter to balance your checkbook while a line of 8 people form behind you
  • please do not stop procuring payment to have an extended conversation with another person
  • please do not ask me to throw out half-empty beverage containers, especially when you are on your way out of the store and will undoubtedly encounter a large trash recepticle
  • please do not "apologize" for using coins to pay for a $20 book, when the act was premeditated [as evidenced by the ziploc bag used to transport said coins]
  • regarding cell phones: either keep talking to the person [ignoring the cashier outright, so as to avoid, "are you talking to me?"-based confusion] or get off the damn phone
  • please remember that i am not a human calculator
  • please do not look at me as though i'm incompetent solely because i have not read the obscure russian novel that you are thinking of purchasing, for which you'd like a recommendation
  • please do not ask me to baby-sit your child, whom you've precariously perched on the counter, in order to "just grab this magazine" halfway across the store

and, finally:

  • please keep telling me i have nice skin; it's much appreciated

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


a recent chalk portrait of myself and my mom by one, olivia cecelia:

the artist clearly stands by her work:

Thursday, June 26, 2008

you know the universe is conspiring against you...

...when you chip your tooth on a bagel.


[i'd offer up a photo, but i consumed the rest of the evidence.]

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

because i'm 12

i haven't seen m. night's latest movie, but from the reviews i've read [both online and in print] i'm severely disappointed that no one has yet to use [that i can find] the headline, "the crappening."


Monday, June 23, 2008

jazz vestival

melissa, joni and i went to the rochester jazz fest on saturday -- definitely a good time and worth scoping out [my friend dennis is a huge fan. his pictures can be found here.] as we were standing on east avenue, listening to the band playing on the free chestnut street[-ish] stage, we were suddenly aware of the preponderance of leather vests in our presence. what about 'jazz fest' suggests 'hey, you know what? i'm going to wear that leather vest of mine tonite. yeah. totally a good idea." i'm all for freedom of wardrobe expression, and i'm not [so much] questioning the actual wearing of a leather vest as i am questioning the occasion for wearing the leather vests. especially when you're clearly going to the jazz fest WITH someone else -- wouldn't you ask if they were also planning on wearing an item so unique as a leather vest? wardrobe check, people! i've posted my pictures from the jazz fest on flickr [click the box to the left] but here are a few for immediate viewing.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

sole searching a lame title.

today i'm wearing the shoes that i wore on my first 'date' with the non-date.

i love, love, love these shoes [see above] for many reasons [the initial one being that i bought them for $14 at the now-defunct cohoes in pittsford. i miss you cohoes...] this was a favorite of olivia's when she requested i wear 'fancy shoes'. i've worn them a lot over the past three or so years. they look ridiculously uncomfortable, but they've molded so much to the shape of my foot that they don't hurt at all. they are, however, disgusting. there's a hole in the toe of the sole of the left shoe, which means no wearing them in the rain. the heel is completely worn away on both shoes. they're scraped. they're battered. they've acquired...not the most pleasant of odors. but i love them.

a few months ago i bought a similar pair at dsw, thinking i could finally throw these out [when i have a favorite pair of shoes that cannot go on in circulation i always look for a replacement pair. i'm very weird.] so, i bought the new pair, wore them a few times. liked them. attempted to put the old pair in the salvation army bag and...couldn't. i look at them and i think of that first date. trying to get ready to go out with this boy for the first time [in the middle of january, no less. although, i remember it being relatively mild.] being unsure if it was actually a date [it was, in retrospect; technically it kicked off our non-relationship.] trying to put together that perfect outfit. being on the phone with my friend karen up to the minute that he pulled into the driveway to pick me up. going first to applebees, not wanting to wait two hours to eat, then heading over to this random family diner for dinner. talking over hamburgers and french fries and coffee. him giving me this classic look of, 'are you crazy?' when i asked why he was paying the bill. going back to my house and watching this horrible movie [the 'actual' reason why we'd decided to hang out.] having tea. then watching the rest of this movie that was on television. him leaving. me thinking, 'i have no idea if that was a date or not, but that boy is pretty darn cute.'

every time i look at these shoes i think about how far we've come from that first date. how we navigated through eight months of ever-growing attachment and denial, and then through another year of frustrations and realizations, progression and setbacks. we're constantly learning, which gives me a lot of hope for the future.

i don't think i'll be getting rid of this pair for a very long time.

Monday, June 16, 2008

sound bites

  • why on earth is 'i will survive' such a popular song to play at weddings? i get the whole 'it's really fun to dance to' angle, but is anyone listening to these lyrics?! so bizarre.
  • the latest death cab for cutie single ['i will possess your heart'] is really long. so long, in fact, that once it started i was able to park my car, go into camille's, wait in line, order lunch to go, pay for my lunch, wait for my lunch, and get back into my car -- and still catch the last 2 minutes.

fun at the mumu

i took the noodle to the strong museum [or, the 'mumu', as she used to call it] yesterday. we had a bit of an ordeal getting there [the foci was rear-ended by a seemingly drunk man, who then had to be an a-hole and drive off. we're fine, the car is mostly fine, but my blood pressure still hasn't come down to an acceptable human level since it happened] but had a blast once we finally arrived.

this is the noodle in what i like to refer to as her 'clint eastwood phase':


and composing her own score.

and, finally, two ladies and their friendly neighborhood spider-man:

Thursday, June 12, 2008


for those of you who don't know, i sang in an all-female a cappella group for four years in college. [i was actually president for the last two of those years. yes. yes i was.] i remember a lot about those years: my audition [what i sang, what i was wearing]; subsequent members' auditions; the difficulty of learning a piece, coupled with the excitement when it finally came together -- or the disappointment when it didn't; parties; competitions; road trips; shopping for concert attire; the physical performance high; the numerous arguments between group members. i'm fairly certain that tolstoy's war & peace is an extended allegory for collegiate a cappella; dickens clearly had us in mind when he began a tale of two cities, "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times." [perhaps it was supposed to be entitled, a tale of two ditties? i'm lame.]

a cappella is a strange, strange beast. there's a lot of snapping and smacking of one's body in order to keep tempo and provide percussion. there's a lot of 'do-do-do'-ing and 'dit-di-dit'-ing. and for the most part, musical arrangements are ridiculously creative and have you putting sounds and words together in ways that make no sense on paper [and often, initially, out loud] but in the end -- when combined with the voices and notes and sequences and harmonies of the other people in the group -- form this cohesive and [ideally] enjoyable song. i enjoyed about 85% of my time with a cappella. but once i graduated, i had no strong desire to ever sing it [or listen to it] again. [this is only significant when realizing that many people who've sung a cappella DO continue to sing and enjoy it post-graduation. more power to them.] i am thankful for many things that resulted from my a cappella involvement [extremely good friends; heightened snapping skills; the inability to resist singing along to any song where i know at least part of an a cappella arrangement] and, conversely, many things that i could do without [pictures of myself in regrettable outfits; unfortunate relationships; the inability to resist singing along to any song where i know at least part of an a cappella arrangement.]

so when i saw this quote from stephen colbert, in his address to princeton graduates, i knew i wanted to remember it forever:

"When you leave here, no one will ever, ever want to hear you sing a capella."

truer words were never spoken.

dirty tissue birds

i am not fond of birds, to put it mildly.

but this flattened tissue that surfaced from underneath my pillow this morning [hooray for dormant allergies] sort of charmed it's way into my heart:

doesn't it look like a parrot?!
kind of?
whatever. it was like 3AM when i found it.
i'm tired.
go away. and take the dirty tissue bird with you.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


is the giant, melted gummy bear orgy...

...that i ate.

it's hip to be square

nondate has been unable to find square waffles in florida [a problem, seeing as how he prefers them to round waffles. if you think this is a conversation we have regularly, you'd be correct.] he claims they don't make them anymore, but i kept telling him that WEGMANS has them regularly. i don't think he quite believed me until last nite when i found myself meandering through the frozen food section...and found these:

PUBLIX has nothing on my WEGMANS.
i'm using square waffles to lure him home.

i like beverages

skirt: the issue

skirts that snap all the way down the front should include a warning to potential passers-by that a wardrobe malfunction may be imminent.

or so i've heard.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


there are few things i like better than a really simply constructed salad on an exceedingly hot day. i made a very basic vinaigrette this morning [balsamic vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, honey and some salt & pepper] and packed my green glitter ziploc bowl with fresh romaine, non-homocidal tomatoes, garbanzo beans, as well as some tuna to be added in at lunch time. [i've come to prefer the packed tuna in the pouch vs. the can.] [hee. pouch and can.]


i'm not sure if the tastiness is translating via the image, but rest assured: it was sublime.
so fresh! so seasoned!