November 07, 2004

No Contest

Since we can all use a laugh on something unrelated to the elections. From Harper's.

October 18, 2004


Mailed my absentee vote from Saigon.
Thanks to Mike D and Lori N for the push!

September 06, 2004

Bush by Numbers

For years I've quoted the fact that one in ten American high school students can't find the United States on a map of the world. Where the hell are we heading?

News from the UK.

August 19, 2004


Paintballing with the Climans on Sunday was loads of fun... What a better way to meet a bunch of folks, by teaming up to shoot down "the other team"? Thank Buddha for Lori N.'s arnica gel which erased the bruises I would have suffered from getting shot so often!

August 18, 2004

The Art of Speed

Just got home from this RES Screening and party RES did with Nike Lab for Nike's "Art of Speed" project. I gave up my food gift box to a homeless lady asking for money. Hung out with Kozy and Dan most of the evening after working the tickets and food assembly... we made plans to climb Mt. Fuji!!!! Yay! Slated for next August.

August 13, 2004

We Rattle for No One

My brother once said to my sister: "We're Us. We Rattle for No One." It's weird. My siblings and I have an ego-manaical nature when we think of ourselves as a family unit.

But damn, when I meet someone who shakes me up, I don't think I know quite what to do. Speechless, and what words that come out, tumble awkwardly forth. I'm hyper-aware of my words, yet lack control over them. I met someone recently who does this to me. I don't understand it. This doesn't happen to me. Jonathan in New York would be shocked. In his words, "you have an impermeable confidence." I guess he's wrong.

Qualities that rattle us? Fame? Fortune? No way. We know plenty of those. It's Family. It's intelligence, creativity and personal success. Human kindness. People who have their shit together and their priorities straight. People who put Family first. Food second. And yeah, I'm kidding about the food part. Kind of.

and three

OK, three handshake comments today. This tracking of comments is getting boring so I think I'll stop counting.
Why all the blog about it? It started with Governor Cuomo a while back. In June when I came out to Santa Monica, I started to notice... What's the big deal? Maybe I'm doing it wrong.

August 10, 2004


Eight handshake comments in eight weeks.

cool tech trick

a cool tech trick to convert a CSV file to vCards. Where was it when I needed it the other day? (I found another way to cheat, and it worked.)

August 08, 2004

who taught you that?

Another handshake comment today, from Frank, one of Mike's oldest friends. Then he asked me "who taught you how to shake hands like that?"

I think to myself, Why would any one have had to teach me?

August 06, 2004

Not Enough Yellow

The WearYELLOW LiveSTRONG has exceeded expectations. Nike donated the first $1 million and there are now more in the making. You can buy it on Ebay (running around $4 a pop now) but I wouldn't recommend it as the proceeds may not benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer. The other way to get it is to find a good friend named Les who will buy you one when he's at the beach.

Previous posts re: Yellow:
May 22, 2004 : Live Strong
May 23, 2004 : More Yellow

University Red

Interestingly, Pantone 201 is the official color for Stanford University (web #990000), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (web #993333), Washington State University (web #990033), Indiana University, Wharton School at UPenn, University of Baltimore, University of Oklahoma (web #990000), and Hastings College... those are the ones I found in only a few minutes.

It's the Pantone red for my corporate identity. Because everyone in my family has compulsive behaviors, I Googled it to see if I could find other companies that use it and to see how I might put the color into context.

Unusual though, that one color can be used by so many in the same "industry". Maybe all these university folk will associate their alma mater colors with my company... and sign up!

August 05, 2004

Doggy Rubs

Okay, while previously denouncing $95 cashmere sweaters for pups, I'm promoting Doggy Rubs... Lori's new canine massage therapy service in Park City, Utah. Here's the Park Record article, and Lori's Cloud 10 (she does people massage too!) site.

August 03, 2004

Is My Little Baby Going to Go Gay?

The Landover Baptist Church web site is a pretty ridiculous site. Their tagline is "Guaranteeing Salvation Since 1612. Where the worthwhile worship. Unsaved Unwelcome. As Jesus Commanded." They have a permanent injunction against all unsaved persons making it unlawful for unsaved persons to be allowed within a 10-mile radius of the church.

And from the home page, you can click on where you can find such delightful articles as Tampons: "Satan's Little Cotton Fingers".

I am not making this up. Somebody else did. (Yes, it's a joke, but it's almost hard to tell, isn't it?)

August 02, 2004

Postcards from the hedge

Do you think this is funny? Because Mica made me laugh. Either I'm blinded by love, or just a dork. If you're wondering, here's what a Highland Cow looks like. It was on the front of the postcard.

August 01, 2004


...handshake comment at Chris & Allison's reception party.

Bending the Function and Beauty Rule

kleinreid still life Photo by Miles Ladin

I splurge in the form of my rather large collection of KleinReids, even though they abide by the rule (how can a sinuous sugar and creamer set designed with Eva Zeisel not be useful?). The exception is my most recent acquisition from their Still Life series -- but only because it was a gift from James and David themselves, the artists and two of my favorite people. It's beautiful. And it has an intangible usefulness. You've just got to see the raised pinstripes up close.

July 31, 2004

The Rules

Well, speaking of the "thing rule" while I'm at it... I suppose it is a lot like my "function and beauty rule." For a self-proclaimed laid back type, I'm discovering I have too many rules (don't you think two rules is one too many?). But if you're living in a New York City studio apartment (this is the 150 square foot kind [this is including the hallway, bathroom and closet space]) where your kitchen is your bedroom is your living room is your dining room (I eat at a table, not in front of a television, which I don't own anyway), then you tend to require a "function and beauty rule." That is to say that everything I owned in my apartment had to be both functional and beautiful. I replaced my can opener with one by OXO. I took a two-hour round-trip bus ride to and from IKEA for a $6 stainless steel knife rack that I knew would be perfect for my stainless steel Bodum knives that matched my stainless steel pots and pans. And, I own a toilet brush designed by Philippe Stark (I know this borders ridiculous) but if I have to look at it every day, it was worth the $20.

This is a very logical rule that means that everything I own has to be beautiful and everything beautiful must be useful. When you live in 150 square feet, you have no escape from your space, unless you like to stand inside your closet for fun (I can not say I have tried this). You have to look at your espresso pot, your bed, your spices, and tchotckes (of which I have none) all day. They better be beautiful. And they damn well better be in your space for a reason.

In case you've noticed, I have taken to abusing parentheses and brackets in addition to the italics.
Admittedly, I have two exceptions. The orchid -- because plants, to me, are absolutely necessary, and my KleinReid apple (from the "Still Life" series), a gift to me from the artists when I left the Big Apple.

Sans Adresse and "the thing"

Kiki gave Kaly a subscription to Cook's Illustrated for Christmas last year (or something like that). If I only had an address for just twelve months in a row, I might get myself the same. One day, I say.

Mike and Eileen wondered what to give me as a gift from Ireland when I housesat for them this summer (which is an incredible treat, as the 96-year-old house is full of character with a beautifully landscaped garden, fabulous cook's kitchen, the most perfect grey cat you ever knew, and dreamy air conditioning). Eileen suggested an Aran sweater from, well, Aran. Mike countered that I wouldn't see winter for a couple of years. The bottle of Sapphire they bought me broke in their bag in the Customs line. Nice thought, I said, 'cause you can't buy an address-less kid anything. I told Mike: I have to be able to consume it whether contact lens solution, Kiehl's, food or frequent flyer miles. That about covers it. Nothing to store, no clothes, no things. I have an aversion to things that do not disappear with regular use. Mostly because I feel like I have a lot of things. I, however, apparently have no aversion whatsoever to abusing italics.

Besides, it's hard filling out paperwork and online forms without an actual address. Have you ever thought of that?

Update: An exception to the "thing rule" as I will call it. The ipod. This is only because it shrinks 600 of my things called compact discs (which apparently are not so compact anymore) into a 5.6 ounce package. It also backs up my entire laptop. Does this mean I get to write it off?

Some People Have a Lot of Free Time

And I'm not talking about me.
How-To Tuesday: Make your own Pirate Radio Station with an iPod

July 30, 2004

Productive ADHD

My sister Kaly the other day suggested I might be ADD, which I wouldn't totally dispute. Mostly because I rarely finish novels (I have started about twelve in the last one year and have finished none. In fact, I haven't gotten past page 40 for about ten of them.). This is why I love reading dictionaries, encyclopedias, how-to's, the way things work, travelogues, atlases, cookbooks, collections of letters (that's as close to the novelist as I can get), and picture books. I absorb bits at a time, though the absorption is constant.

But also because I can't warm to one job for more than a month (six is when I reach my threshold, and two years seems to be just about the time I end up quitting). I think the 18 months beyond the six-month threshold demonstrates quite a bit of determination! When I'm in my vacationing periods, I come up with about a zillion ideas. Design invitations? Go back to working public schools? Tutor? Take people on tours to Vietnam? Train old people on computers?

Maybe my friends' ideas might work. Mike Doheny thinks I should be a lawyer. Actually, he really thinks I should be a CIA agent but we decided I could never get Top Secret clearance because of my twelve previous addresses, six jobs, three names, and "shady" months abroad. Dad's doctor asked me if I was pre-med and Lori is convinced I'm going to make a lot of money really quick and retire. Since Intelligence and Espionage are no longer options, I would probably be a poor non-profit lawyer, a volunteer doctor for MSF, or well... I won't make a lot of money (seriously, who cares when you get to live like I do?). I make what I need and then I run like hell. But I'm getting really good at the retirement part.

The fact is, this supposed ADD has allowed me visits to plenty of places, explore an amazing range of jobs, meet thousands of incredible people and live in too many apartments to count. This is why I write a blog and not a book, why I studied seven languages and barely speak three, volunteer (short term work!), and relocate every 24 months. My Uncle Mike says I have commitment issues... I can't commit to a continent. In fact, I can't commit to a frequent flyer account. In all my years of traveling around the world, I've only ever cashed in on a 25k ticket from NYC to San Fran. I think I have a lot of thinking to do. I think I have to commit to United Airlines. I just hope they don't go by way of PanAm.

July 29, 2004

Now Serving

I had an amusing experience at the Social Security office the other day. After unsuccessful attempts in the offices in New York City due to long unbearable waits, I got Mike to take me to the office in Arlington on condition that I register to vote in VA for him.

I walked in the office, and there are about 100 vinyl chairs lined up in rows. In front of the chairs is a teacher's desk with a take-a-number dispenser attached and a security guard sitting behind it, leaning back in his chair. There are two service windows open. To the left, a man and to the right, a Chinese couple being helped. Sitting in only one of the 100 chairs is one man.

I asked the security guard "Do I have to take a number?" as I looked at the 99 empty chairs.
"Do you have an appointment?" The sign on the desk says Do not ask the security guard any questions. He does not know anything.
"Well then you have to take a number."

I tore my number off the dispenser. Number 02. I look up at the display: "Now Serving" and in bright red lights "01". When the Now Serving number changed to 02 (and I believe it dinged), I went up to the available window. The guy behind it yelled at me. "ARE YOU NEXT?" he asked. I looked at the empty room behind me. The man sitting in the one chair had disappeared. The guy at the other window was gone too. The chinese couple had just left this window (they were probably number 01). I wondered, who would he think was next? Mike was the only person left, and he was sitting next to me before I got up to the window.

"Yes" I answered, all cheery.
"Are you number TWO?" he asked, like he didn't believe me.
"Yes," I said, holding up my dispensed ticket.
Five minutes later, after lots of grunting at me, and me being all "yes" "thank you" and "please"-like, he cheered up and told me to have a great day. And after 30 years, I can finally tell someone what my name is without a long speech attached.

Garden State

The greatest thing about doing all the AIDS rides was the people I was lucky enough to have met. They make up the largest part of my list of most interesting dynamic friends in my address book. Here's a new movie, Garden State, edited by Myron Kerstein whom I met while training in New York for my Alaska ride. Zach Braff who wrote, directed, and stars in the movie even keeps his own blog.

July 28, 2004

Duke to give incoming freshmen iPods

I went to college about 13 years too early. Only one person in our six-person suite freshman year even had a computer, and e-mail was on an old VAX system.

Duke to give incoming freshmen iPods

I suppose this might help explain tuition inflation.

July 22, 2004


For more on the beautiful Nike commercial entitled "Magnet" by Wieden+Kennedy (Nike's longtime agency), see the News Release by A52, the Visual Effects company that helped create it. Here's the full ninety second version directed by Jake Scott (son of Ridley Scott and nephew of Tony Scott).

And from the A52 News Release, "The spot's music, composed by Dave Wittman and Jimmy Haun at Elias Arts Los Angeles with support from creative director David Gold and head of production Dayna Turcotte, features the vocal talents of Kathleen Fisher. The sound was designed by creative director Dane Davis and Eddie Kim at 740 Sound/Danetracks with help from producer Scott Ganary, and Jeff Payne at Eleven Sound Studios in Santa Monica mixed the final audio."

Looks like everyone wants to know about the music!

And here are the project credits. Really gorgeous work.

Live in New York City

How cool. Live OLN coverage of the Alpe d'Huez time trial in Times Square.

22203 to 90405 and a few others in between

My upcoming travel schedule below. Sorry if you're all losing track of me.

FRI JUL 23 to SUN JUL 25 Boston, MA
SUN JUL 25 to WED JUL 28 New York, NY
WED JUL 28 to TUE AUG 03 Arlington, VA
TUE AUG 03 to WED AUG 18 Los Angeles and Santa Monica, CA
WED AUG 18 to WED AUG 25 San Francisco, CA
WED AUG 25 to mid-SEP Santa Monica, CA
mid-SEP to MAR 2005 Viet Nam
:: mid-NOV to end-NOV :: possibly India (Ila's wedding)
:: DEC to JAN :: Viet Nam (Lan's wedding)
:: JAN 14 to 17 :: possibly New Orleans, LA (Adam's wedding)
:: JAN to MAR :: Viet Nam
mid-MAR to TUE JUN 03 Santa Monica, CA

Well, that's the tentative plan. As always, e-mail is your best chance of catching me and the NY mobile phone number is still active.

July 19, 2004

101 Cookbooks

One more foodblog from Souris' friend Heidi. Not a boring list of restaurant reviews but in Heidi's words, "exploring my collection of cookbooks, one recipe at a time" with her gorgeous photos. mmm miam.

July 14, 2004


A $95 cashmere sweater for your pup from Ralph Lauren Polo.

Sybaritysm? Dementia? Decadence? Whatever. This is madness.

Others eat so we don't have to

Look at this: a list of 96 FoodBloggers in a webring. I was led to this page from Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page's site. Of course, you can read a great blog about NYC eats, written by Souris' friend Alaina.

Two Dads Are Better Than One

Apparently to some people, all men are created equal... only if they're straight. In light of the Federal Marriage Amendment vote today, I was motivated to read up on our Constitution, particularly breaking down the meaning of the Preamble, and even more particularly with this section of it:

"... To Form a More Perfect Union"
All the states were covetous of the sovereign power they had exercised since the break with Great Britain eleven years earlier. Balancing states' rights with the needs of a central government was no easy task. The makers of the Constitution accomplished this by letting the states keep all the powers necessary to regulate the daily lives of their citizens, provided that these powers did not conflict with the needs and welfare of the nation as a whole. This division of authority, which is termed federalism, is essentially the same today. The power of each state over local affairs in matters such as education, public health, business organization, work conditions, marriage and divorce, local taxation, and ordinary police powers is so fully recognized and accepted that two neighboring states frequently have widely differing laws on the same subject.

and this, quoted from the wordiq site:
"... To Establish Justice"
The essence of American democracy is contained in the Declaration of Independence, with its ringing phrase, "All men are created equal," and the follow-up statements "that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Incredibly, 48 voted for the change, and gratefully, 50 did not. I just can't imagine that people could be so anti-family anti-love anti-liberty and anti-happiness. Two dads are better than one.

July 12, 2004


Google's way more than you might think. Check out their list of Google Web Search Features. I use it as a calculator, package tracker, and phone book.

Warming Warning

When I snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef a few years ago, we were informed of a very sad fact: that in less than 30 years, the Great Barrier Reef will be dead. Thousands of lifeforms gone because of the warming waters. In 1998 and 2002 there were massive coral bleaching events. Thirty years is not a long time. It's this lifetime. It means your kids might NEVER see the Great Barrier Reef. They'll just hear about it in books, see pictures on the internet. They'll never snorkel there to see life. They'll snorkel there to see the geological leftovers of dead coral of what might have once been the most spectacular ecosystem in the world. This makes me crazy sad.

With headlines like today's, you might wonder what's going on in this world?

Europe plagued by snow and heatwaves, Romanian death toll climbs
AFP - Sun Jul 11, 5:32 PM ET : "Extreme temperatures, which have killed at least 22 people in Romania in the space of a week, continued to plague Europe, with Greece sweltering in a heatwave and an open-air performance of Verdi's 'Traviata' canceled in Italy."
Flights canceled, houses collapse as massive rainstorm hits Beijing
AFP - Sun Jul 11, 4:57 PM ET
Humidity Grips the East, Midwest
AP - Sun Jul 11, 3:45 PM ET
Floods and landslides kill 23 in Nepal
AFP - Sun Jul 11,11:47 AM ET
China rescues 62 tourists stranded by mudflows
AFP - Sun Jul 11,11:09 AM ET
Unseasonal cold brings snow to Bavarian Alps
AFP - Sun Jul 11,10:45 AM ET
Floods Kill Dozens in South Asia, Millions Homeless
Reuters - Sun Jul 11, 9:29 AM ET
Bangladesh Floods Maroon 3 Million, Death Toll 13
Reuters - Sun Jul 11, 3:25 AM ET
Floods Kill at Least 40 in India, Millions Homeless
Reuters - Sun Jul 11, 2:01 AM ET
Floods Kill 22 Across South Asia
AP - Sat Jul 10, 2:23 PM ET

July 08, 2004

I take that back

I take that back. With Hincapie, Ekimov, and Azevedo on your team, it's gonna be easy for Lance to win this year. Anything can happen -- four Posties crashed today, but got back in the race -- but it's his race to lose. I mean, Lance has the talent and the discipline to train like mad, but it's his all-star team along with the tech team of Nike, Giro, and Trek who supply the team with unparalleled equipment that shaves the seconds off his overall time. Pretty amazing to watch this history in the making.

July 03, 2004

When you've got everything going for you...

What's Lance's biggest advantage? The amazing development teams from Nike, Giro and Trek who put together a unified group to research and design the customized clothing, helmets, bikes and wheels to shave as much time off of him as possible. Trek even developed a special wheel to be used ONLY for the stage on Alpe d'Huez. What's more, Lance has an unbelievable all-star team (in fact, they had too many all-stars, they had to leave two at home), the domestiques, whose singular job it is to ride for and protect Lance. And the icing on the cake is, in my vague recollection of Victor Hugo Pena's words, "Some may think only Lance is treated like King. But they treat us ALL like kings," making reference to how all teammates are given the best bicycles, helmets and gear that Lance gets too. Lance's advantage simply is that he has the BEST team out there. He has little reason to lose (and I am still rooting for Tyler).

Leave history to history.

It's not going to be easy for Lance this year. First, no one has ever won six tours, and all of the previous five-time winners tried; the legendary Eddie Merckx among them. Second, three ex-Posties -- Americans Tyler Hamilton and Levi Leipheimer, and Spaniard Roberto Heras -- formerly rode with the man in yellow and are leaders of their teams, all vying for the win. Add in the incredible Jan Ullrich and Iban Mayo and there's an excellent field of rivals on the pavement. If we're as lucky as last year, we won't know the winner until the penultimate stage of the race.


If like me you don't own a television, don't worry -- you can still follow the tour LIVE on the official Tour site. The site has been up for several years now, and like television coverage, has improved tremendously. (And if you're at work during the tour, you can read from the privacy of your cubicle!)

Luckily, I'm between the Doheny's house and home for the next three weeks, both equipped with cable. Since I'll be driving to Boston and New York in the final few days, driving time will have to be planned around the Tour. This year, I can actually watch the extensive (never thought I'd get to say that) coverage on OLN.

Fortunately, we have Phil Liggett who will be covering his 32nd Tour and Paul Sherwen who will be covering his 17th. Looking forward to getting to watch my ninth Tour live and appreciate that I don't have to stay up till 2 a.m. for a 30-minute condensed coverage on ESPN2 as we once did before Americans started winning.

That's all, folks!

Made the final payment to one of my student loans today. Well, I've got four more loans I'm paying, but hey, this is progress! Not bad for a vacationing incomeless adventurer.

July 01, 2004


Ever wonder what your superpowers are? Mine is an uncanny ability to instantly forgive. I'm not quite as good at it as my friend Les, but I don't know anyone else who is. I watch people around me carry collections of grudges, anger, and negative thoughts. Why bother? Dump it where it is and move on. You can travel a lot lighter and a lot happier.

June 28, 2004

Cartoon Respect

MOCCA's art festival just ended this weekend at the Puck building in New York. Did you even know there was such a thing?

June 27, 2004

Random Acts of Kindness

I happen to be an actual local of Arlington, Virginia -- well before the disgustingly ugly McMansions (have you seen the shit they built across from Arlington Hospital?) and McOffice Buildings that have popped up across the Ballston and Clarendon stretches, before Carpool existed, before the vast number of JMU, UVA and VTech alums invaded. It's truly sad, the damage they've done.

But today I was reminded of why I love this city so much. While housesitting here for Mike and Eileen, I received a phone call. The woman on the line asked for Mike. "He's not home at the moment" I told her.

"Oh, well you don't know me, but my name is Mary Stump, and I borrowed a book from the library that he returned. It had his airline and car rental receipts, and I thought he might need them back; they look like business expenses."

I told her that was very kind of her, and that she could mail it to them if she liked. I gave her the address and then she said, oh well, since she was in Arlington, she would just bring them over. And she did! She went through all that trouble to find Mike's phone number, make contact, and return these documents that he forgot in a library book. How nice, huh?

And yesterday, mom and dad's neighbor Jim mowed their lawn for them while he was doing his own. It's somewhat fascinating that despite the Washington metropolitan overtones in Arlington -- particularly apparent now with the increased density, that the previous generation of denizens maintain that sense of neighborly kindness that made our childhood here pretty perfect.

Over the Wheel

Partnership marketing gone too far? iPod Your BMW Actually, I think it's kind of cool.

June 26, 2004

Shaking up the Shooters

Got my third handshake comment today since I started tracking two weeks ago. From a U.S. Army long-range shooter. Shook two hands today, so that was one for two.

June 25, 2004


Going to see Cyrano tomorrow with Kiki.

Update: Beautiful costumes, Geraint Wyn Davies is excellent, the newly scripted dialogue hilarious, but the rest of the actors just a bit disappointing. Ought to see it though.

June 24, 2004

A Sign

The sign says "Work for Other People"

Where is that sign? Oh, it's not really a sign.

I once had a folder in my computer directory called "Work." I realized that ever since I quit my job, work has been coming in. Oh, this is not paid work. Well, not in the traditional sense. More like my karma bank is filling up. Regardless, I realized that while I was working on my personal project (the second reason why I quit my job), I couldn't find my files because there were too many files belonging to too many other people I've been doing work for.

Who am I doing work for? Well, I happen to stay in touch with a lot of people. They are all brilliant, industrious people who work for themselves. So I couldn't find my files. I had to change the folder name to "Work for Other People" and then created a new folder called "Work for Me." In actuality, I think I am working full-time on other peoples' projects (this includes creative copywriting, copy editing, business writing, information technology and software help, database help, inventory organization, advertising, networking, resume' writing and layout, graphic design for corporate identities, flyers, brochures, and advertisements to mention a few) and part-time on my projects (establishing an LLC, web site design, copywriting, market research, writing a business plan), so this leads me to believe that somehow, I am now working more than I ever did back in the days when I actually got paid. HMMMM.

Just Like That, Part II

Yeah, the plans have changed. Who said I was moving home? I'll hardly see my parents this summer. My belongings are in a back yard shed (albeit, my collection of books are in Atlanta).

Since I left New York in the beginning of May, I paid my parents a three-week visit. From Arlington I went to Santa Monica for three weeks. Met a dozen incredibly kind new friends. Two dozen! Returned to Arlington for two days, then off to Rehobeth, Delaware for four days. Visited mom and dad for three days. Off to house/cat sit for the Dohenys for three weeks. Eastern shore for a weekend. New York and Boston next. Cancelled Park City, Utah trip. Possibly return to Santa Monica for two weeks before heading off to Vietnam for six months or so with a wedding in India in November. Of course, I am going to find a way to return for Adam and Amanda's New Orleans wedding in January. Back to Vietnam. Maybe by next Spring I'll finally get to go back on vacation. Oh wait. Isn't this vacation now?

June 21, 2004

Recently Viewed

Just saw these in the last three weeks:
Jeux D'enfants (badly translated English title: Love me if you Dare)
Super Size Me
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

TM This

Working on the biz side of my project, and was just reading up on NOLO which is one of the most useful sites I frequent. Want to know what kind of laws my former employer was breaking? I read up on the Federal Labor Standards Act a couple of years ago. Now I'm more interested in what can't be trademarked. While one of the reasons is "marks that are judged immoral, deceptive or scandalous," it's good to know that "As a general rule, the USPTO takes a liberal view of the terms immoral and scandalous and will rarely refuse to register a mark on those grounds."

June 13, 2004

Handshake comment number two.

Went to Mastro's steakhouse with Alesha and Tricia. Shook hands with four men and one woman. Two comments from two of the men; one a former 6'4 UVA footballer.

IO West - 2004 Improv Fest

So I'm on the Improv Olympics 2004 Improv Fest web site as "and friend" to my old friend Tricia who was on one of the Improv teams until recently. Epitaph is what we saw, which will be playing at the Edinburgh festival and won the Best Sketch Award of the HBO sponsored U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. Oi, I sound like a commercial now.

Had another handshake comment yesterday. I think I might start keeping track. It's interesting that it's always men who comment. Women never do. They're either firm shakers or not and if they are, I guess they assume that you ought to be too.

June 12, 2004

Angus and Jackson

Mica's goldfish have the most interesting names. Sure, Dorothy went to goldfish heaven along with Squirt. But Angus and Jackson are still happily wading through the plastic plants in the plastic acquarium. And the last kitten they fostered she named Gabriel. Less banal than Lori's childhood white cat named... uh, Whitey. No kidding!

June 09, 2004

My Love, Yes... My Chocolate, No.

My Uncle Mike and Aunt Lori have two kids, Mica, who is seven and a half years old, and Ari, who is four and a half. This year for Mother's Day, Mica signed this Mother's day card for Lori. Too funny. Funnier still, that Mica wrote "Dear Lori" instead of Mom!

June 03, 2004


One week down, three to go. This is me, every other day:
Yeah, those are my pedicured toes... Sat in the sand yesterday for a good few hours, just watching the waves lap up...forgot it was a full moon out, and the surfers started showing up at around 4. We saw one walking by the house at 10 p.m. when Lori and I went for a walk to the mini-mart. Today I went to Mica's school assembly in the morning. Spent the following hours as a poser volunteer parent to help the kids out with their 'research' - KINDERGARTEN KIDS instructed "If you don't know the answer, ask someone if they can 'please help you start at the GOOGLE web page.'" Google, are you paying attention to your newest market? Tomorrow Mike and I are going to see a play, Friday night we're going with Lori to see Zero 7 in concert, and Saturday off to a 44-acre ranch in Topanga for a catered party.

Little access/interest online while enjoying sunshine (see photo for reference) so these boring "this is what I did today" blogs for the next coupla weeks.

Life is good.

May 29, 2004


Gardened at SMASH today with Mike. Cool school.

May 24, 2004

seeing green?

Here are two drive-by photos from yesterday in Washington D.C., for the amusement of it. What do these ads mean?

Interestingly, here's an image of Wrigley's Doublemint gum wrappers over the years.

May 23, 2004

People in panda suits?

I went to the National Zoo today after brunch with Anne since she lives a block away.

When we first saw them, Anne thought they'd been starved by the way they were eating. After we learned that pandas eat 40 lbs. of bamboo a day, we figured they have to eat so fast as it's the only way you can get through it all in a day. Anne felt bad that they eat the same thing every day all day for their entire lives. And of course, we thought it was sad that they lived in these glass boxes for people to gawk at. Like what we were doing.

Here are the pandas lunching (you need Quicktime to see the movie clip), but I swear, they look like people in bear suits.

More Yellow

This is Nike's site to promote the LAF WearYellow LiveStrong campaign. They continued to sponsor him when he was diagnosed with cancer, not dropping him like Cofidis did. Loyalty breeds loyalty.

thirty seconds

I've always liked commercials better than shows. Not sure how much CGI was used for this one, but on television, it looked really pretty.

May 22, 2004

Live Strong

Lance Armstrong Foundation is selling yellow wristbands with the LAF motto, "Live Strong" in an effort to raise $5,000,000.

I haven't watched television in a few months (I've never cared to own one), but vegging in front of dad's today, I came across the cheesily named "Lance Chronicles" on OLN. I've got a few issues with OLN (mostly that their sportscasters who cover the TdF are awful/don't understand cycling as a sport/don't understand how the TdF works/can't pronounce "Tour de France" or "Sylvain Chavenel" properly), but it's cool that they show so much coverage during the actual tour. Back in '96 I used to have to watch half hour snippets of Big Mig on ESPN2 at 2 a.m. just to see what was going on (and they didn't have the live internet updates back then either!). And of course, I watched "the Lance Chronicles." The only time in a year that I commit to television (if I can freeload off an understanding soul) is for three weeks of the tour every year. Otherwise, no T.V. unless catsitting Godzuki and Atari.

Even though I'll wish Lance good legs, I kinda want Tyler or someone else get a chance to win. There's something about excelling in what you do (which Lance has done stunningly so) but the other men who stand with him as five-time winners (Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx -- arguably cycling's greatest, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain) were tremendous riders too. It would be sad for them to be left a notch down if Lance's win overshadows them. Of course, I could go on about the drama and interest Lance brings to the race and love that he'll be riding. And besides, I'm a huge fan (and when dad watches LA with me, he likes to shout out "I'm a survivor, too!"). Well, because he is.

May 21, 2004

Hello hello!

This is very cool. I have to figure out how to get started on it on my Mac.

My Left Arm for a Gmail Account

The Gmail Hype. Amusing. And to think, I just handed them out to people I thought would be good beta users.

*&%$#! HMO's

HMO's suck. Medicare HMO's suck worse. Had a lot of trouble getting dad in to see his cardiologist (the Kaiser Medicare triage nurse thought he needed an opthalmalogist for the purple spots he was seeing, caused by his abnormally low coma-inducing 70/50 blood pressure from his over-medication) but he's ok now.

May 19, 2004

The Tissue Box

I went to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for a tour on Monday with my friend Mike who is a guide there. Met some interesting folks he volunteered with, and enjoyed a pretty good tour of the place. They've got a really ugly Circle room known as the "Bird Room" that looks like a really bad meeting room in some West Virginia hunting lodge. Our favorite Circle room was the Africa room, where the structure of the walls represented an African hut, and with gorgeous artwork. Worth seeing! Exceptionally beautiful was the Lobmeyr crystal chandelier in the Opera House, a gift from Austria. See that too.

Having met the White House Chef on Saturday night at a party, I got invited on a private tour of the White House and I asked if I could take mom. See, the chef said the magic words, "I'll show you the kitchen". Considering I bought my All-Clad eight months before I bought a bed, you know I wouldn't turn that offer down.

May 17, 2004


One of my favorite things to do.

Something I would really like to own
by Kurt Vonnegut.

I'd actually also like to own "Once Upon A Time" (in color), or especially "Mondrian's Socks" because it makes me laugh. But really, I really like "Sleep."

Cold Turkey -- In These Times

Cold Turkey -- In These Times by Kurt Vonnegut.

Stone Diarist

Yet another article on my favorite contemporary sculptor, in The New York Times Sunday magazine.

Here's the NYT audio slide show and an image of older works:

Art and Photographs © Andy Goldsworthy from Lelong Gallery

May 16, 2004


If you don't know what a Baobab is, you should read The Little Prince.

Since 1999 I've been listening to Orchestra Baobab - "Senegal's finest musicians on the World Circuit Label." I've got a cruddy cassette tape copy of the Pirates' Choice album that I've listened to over and over since then. As it turns out, the band made this recording in 1982 on a four-track shortly before disbanding. The album was a coveted bootleg, and it was finally released under World Circuit in 1989. At some point, I would really love to own the albums. It's a fantastic sound, amazing guitar, and oddly, NPR did a brief on them last week because of some Dave Matthews Band coverage (who I don't even listen to). It's cool they've re-banded (in 2001) and they've got a new album out (since 2002), which has been reviewed by several critics, including BBC, who says "This is a come back to beat all comebacks."

National WWII Memorial

Golden stars on the Freedom Wall of the National World War II Memorialphoto © NPR
I went here today, though the fountains were off. Somewhat gargantuan, its location didn't destroy the minimalism of the reflecting pool (technically called the Rainbow Pool) between the Lincoln (my favorite of all the monuments) and the Washington (at 555 feet, the tallest building in Washington) as I expected.

Our next-door neighbor will be performing in the Army Band for the dedication the weekend of May 29th, but I'll be in Santa Monica by then... too bad I'll miss it, but if any of you is up for a crowd, you'll be sure to find one there. The articles are worth a read.

CNN Article
NPR's Article
NPR's Photo Gallery
National WWII Memorial
National World War II Memorial (National Park Service)


the Creatures in my Head.

Daily illustrations by Andrew Bell

Great little joys to greet you every morning.
Very cute. And damn, that's diligence!

May 12, 2004

How Rich Are You?

My sisters and I often talk about how rich our lives are in our experiences, in our family, in the friends that surround us. Growing up, my dad (a tri-lingual former intelligence director) worked as a cashier at a grocery store for 27 years, bought a house and got five of us through college with a piddly salary, and my mom's hard work from home. As kids, we WORKED HARD. We helped our parents through tough times, we sold food at the county fair (since I was seven until I was 21), we labeled packages, and had assembly lines. Though we were allowed only one pair of shoes a year, wore hand-me-downs from the local charities, and were thrilled to receive one new toy under the Christmas tree, we never considered ourselves want for anything. In fact, we had a pretty perfect childhood and we look back on it rather fondly.

As an adult, single and financially stable, I always appreciated that I lived relatively comfortably - even when I'm unemployed and paying student loans. In fact, I think I even blogged about it a few blogs ago, aware I was 'up there' for what I ought to be grateful. I spent a year in Vietnam where the people I knew made $50 U.S. dollars a month (and sent money home to provide for their families outside of the city). I watched my cousins, who couldn't flee in 1975, selling fabrics in the 98-degree market - could've been me. Children playing with rubber bands, sticks and stones. My appreciation for my environment and opportunities, my life in America, for what I actually have, while always there, grew. I don't think most people realize how well off they are, but here's a REALITY CHECK. See how rich you are.

This is how I once stacked up in my last job (I've had six in ten years). Now that I'm retired/unemployed/a vagabond, I'm sure my ratings have dropped a few billion.

You are in the top 0.77% richest people in the world.
There are 5,953,760,935 people poorer than you.
Oh, and in case you’re interested you are the 46,239,065 richest person in the world.

Another thing to note: only 107,565 in the world make more than $200,000 a year.

It's a lot to be grateful for. And I'm happy to donate to several charities a year. If you're looking for a place to donate, please read about my friend Jeff Dreiblatt's Paradise Ride event and consider an hour's salary.

This blog has moved

If you still have a bookmark to the old blog,, please change it to the new one.

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March 15, 2006. update: Nevermind, this has been moved back to

May 09, 2004

new digs

Blogger went through a major overhaul, and prompted me to do the same. Get your blog here.
And look, a place for you to talk back!

May 07, 2004

Brood X (that's ten)

How could I not blog about it?

The Economist wrote about it and so did National Geographic. National Geographic also has a good "quick facts" on the lower right column of the page. And even better, they can tell you how best to prepare cicadas for a meal.

All I remember about the swarm in 1987 is that they blanketed the area, and you couldn't help but crunch them under your feet because they were literally all over the ground. I guess the point to remember however, is that for every mating couple, the females lay 400-600 eggs, which then hatch, and these billions of cicada nymphs fall from the trees to burrow in the ground. Mental Note: If you don't want them on your head, stay away from trees!

Apparently, Brood X is the largest of the twelve broods of the 17-year cicada (there are three additional 13-year broods). Disgusting. Good thing I'll be in California for 3 weeks.

Just like that.

OK, so my plans changed, just like that. Like always. I forget what I've told anyone and everyone's got a different story whether I told it or whether they heard it from someone else.

First, a gmail update. I sent an update to about 300 peeps yesterday and G-Mail is just brilliant. It collected every person's response to my message, it color coded each person, and when I responded to each person and they sent a follow-up response, it keeps their color for each conversation. Therefore, conversations within conversations. I know, this doesn't make sense to some of you, but believe me, it's an amazing and very cool feature, and it's keeps everything so neat and tidy.

So the update said I was going to be in Santa Monica in June, and I booked my ticket tonight -- I'm going to be around in May instead, leaving in a couple of weeks, and then going to stay there for about three. At least now I know where I'll be past May 30th -- in Santa Monica until June 16th. Now I have to figure out where I'm going to be beyond June 16th.

I plan on going to Rehobeth for a weekend in late June (to finally meet Kurt), and possibly a quick trip back to the city. Dad's asked me to escort him on a trip to visit his 96-year old brother up in Boston (must travel by ground as Dad -- who was trained to jump out of airplanes in the military -- has an aversion to flying). And maybe by the time I get back, the billions of cicadas will be gone.

May 05, 2004

naturally ephemeral

Andy Goldsworthy is one of my favorite sculptors, whose work I've been following for over ten years. He was invited by the Met Museum this year to create the installation for the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden. The special exhibition just opened today, and if you want, you can read the Met's press release. You can also try to go see the documentary on him, Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time which will be screened at the Met. Unfortunately, I missed the chance to sit in on one of his lectures on Saturday!

The Roof will be open May 4, 2004–October 31, 2004.
The Met is open late on Friday and Saturday evenings until 9:00 p.m., and closed on Mondays except for certain holiday Mondays (listed on their site, here).

In 2000, I went to see Goldsworthy's special exhibition at Storm King Art Center, a unique 500-acre outdoor art center whose collection includes gigantic Calders, a 40-ton granite sculpture by Isamu Noguchi that you can sit on and in, and Goldsworthy's 2,278 foot wall built over two years (the other installations are no longer there). If you ever want someplace to go on the weekend away from the city, Storm King is a great spot for a picnic.

May 01, 2004

Paradise Ride

JeffSome of you may have met my dear friend Jeff at my party the other night. In his past four rides, Jeff raised more than $30,000 on his own to benefit three comprehensive AIDS service organizations in Hawaii: Life Foundation in Honolulu on the island of Oahu, Malama Pono Kauai AIDS Project, and Maui AIDS Foundation which serves the islands of Maui, Lana'i and Moloka'i.

His goal is to raise at least $6000 this year.

It is a great, grass-roots fundraiser and the people of Hawaii can really use the support.

You can easily donate online and visit his personal web page to help Jeff's efforts in Hawaii!

April 30, 2004

Cornelia Street Goodbyes

After two years living in the heart of Greenwich Village, I packed up my belongings, drove a truck to Arlington, Virginia, unloaded things into storage, and returned to New York on a bus. I cooked dinner (on borrowed pots, pans, utensils and furniture from my fabulous neighbors) for a group of about 60 people who kindly bore through the disorganization of it all and enjoyed themselves in our courtyard. If you're looking for the Beef with Lemongrass recipe, you'll have to wait for my mom's cookbook. It's a family secret; and trust me, we're WORKING on it!

Pictures of the party are on ofoto so have a look. If you're looking for a tiramisu recipe, I'll eventually stop being lazy enough to post the translation here. The difference in the brand of mascarpone is key -- the one I made for Gene and Marianne a few weeks ago was the best, and you can buy the tub of mascarpone at FAICCO's Pork Store on Bleecker Street. The cookies must be Pavesi Pavesini which can be bought in the Italian Food Center on Mott and Grand (I think that's where it is). It's on a northwestern corner in Little Italy at 186 Grand Street. The espresso, of course, is Italian Espresso from the Porto Rico Importing Company.

If I promised anyone anything, please email and remind me because I have no idea what I told anyone that night.

If you're wondering where I am at the moment, I am physically in Arlington until the end of May. Beyond May, I can not tell 'cause I have no idea where I'm going to be. If you keep reading this, or read the East West Adventures blog, you should get a pretty good picture of where I'll be.

April 23, 2004

You've got Gmail!

so glad i got back into the blogging thing recently 'cause it had been awhile, and i've had my blog account since ... 2000? In fact, I even became a BloggerPro user when it was first introduced in ...2001? 02? -- which adds a lot of features -- if you don't own a Mac (which I do). Doesn't matter though. I sent in my money for BloggerPro as a token of thanks for letting me have my free blogger accounts. I don't mind not being able to use those extra features.

But today, being a devoted Blogger user has paid off. When everyone I know was going to Movable Type, Typepad... I logged in to my Blogger home page and saw my invitation to be sign up for a beta account of Gmail. In Google's Gmail intro e-mail message they tell you, "You're one of the very first people to use Gmail" and go on to say how valuable your feedback is to them. The coveted gmail account, and I got it for loyalty to Blogger (and apparently, you can't open a new account to get the invitation, nor will you have gotten the invitation if you haven't blogged "in a while" they say). Pretty cool.

Besides, maybe they knew I quit my job and was about to go on another traveling spree, when I blog nearly daily. Heh heh. Do you know that at Google, they require you to spend 20% of your time (that is, one day out of the five weekly) to work on your OWN PERSONAL project, unrelated to your work there? That's how Gmail was born. Amazing company.

Don't know why so many people are up in arms about their computers scanning the lexicon on your screen to place targeted, yet unobtrusive text ads to the side of your email. Shit, your grocery discount card tells the grocery chain exactly what you eat, whether or not you buy tampons, TV dinners, and the kind of toilet paper you use. Your credit card companies have a record of every purchase you've ever made using their cards. In fact, the ads are interesting as far as ads go. Got a message about a friend's studio sale in Brooklyn and a couple of good ads -- only two mind you -- that had to do with Brooklyn guides (About Guide to Brooklyn as in and Hello Brooklyn) came up which I thought would be RATHER USEFUL! In addition to that, there is a very clear link just below these that leads you to a page that EXPLAINS how everything is occurring through Google. They know WAY less about you than your grocery store or CVS store.

March 23, 2004


Image is the property of Vanilla Bicycles.

Vanilla bicycles are gorgeous. So this is what people do with all their extra money. The lugs are beautiful. Man, I want one! Custom everything too.

March 09, 2004

like an 8-foot soda straw

WOW. i said it out loud. you might too.
Read today's NY Times article about the new Hubble Images and then go to the NASA official web site for more info on the Hubble Ultra Deep Field. They say it's a narrow and deep view, like "looking through an 8-foot soda straw." You can also watch quicktime movies and other panned images from the nasa site on the Ultra Deep Field. Really amazing.

For a full size image, click on the photo.
Photo credit: NASA/ESA/S. Beckwith(STScI) and The HUDF Team.

February 07, 2004

i love little italy

For my 30th birthday last October, Agnese, the housekeeper of our Tuscan villa, made my birthday dinner including the most delicious tiramisu I've ever devoured. I posted the recipe a few blogs ago, and went on a mad search for PAVESI brand Pavesini biscotti. They're these little cookies that are similar to the french langues de chat, and they're used in authentic tiramisu in Italy -- not the Savoiardi or lady fingers which are too thick and spongy. Looking everywhere online, I finally found ONE U.S. supplier, in North Carolina, selling for a "discount" at $5.99 a package. Forget it. I saw them for less than 3 euro in Italy. I went on a trek today to Little Italy in NYC. The first italian grocer's I went to, "Italian Food Center" on the corner of Grand and Mulberry Streets had a package -- the last package -- for $2.99. Perfect. I picked up my cookies and I'll head back next week to buy the mascarpone. I'll keep you posted how the tiramisu turns out. I love that you can get just about anything in New York City, especially in Little Italy and Chinatown without having to pay all those damned gourmet prices!

January 24, 2004

More on the media

Want to know how educational programming for children is plummeting, and other fun facts about the Media in the United States? Not as fun as the Necco candy facts I posted a couple of days ago, but far more fascinating.

Ten Things you ought to know about Big Media.

Two blogs in one.

I was in Saigon, Vietnam when the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked. I spent my first 25 years living in Arlington, VA, a mile from the Pentagon and the following five years in New York City, a mile from the two towers. My home -- and my home -- were attacked and I was, like the Americans who were my friends and family, emotionally shocked. People in Vietnam -- a communist country with state controlled papers -- said to me, "oh, but Hani, did you know that no Vietnamese people died? The newspaper said so."

"ARE YOU JOKING?" That's what I asked them incredulously. "If I was in one of those towers, I would have been reported as an American death."Do you believe EVERYTHING you read?" I'd say.

"What do you mean?" they'd ask, in total surprise, like I grew three heads. It has never occurred to most Vietnamese citizens that if they read something in print, it may not be true. That if ANYTHING is in print, then it must be true. Because it's in print. The Vietnamese education system does not allow the free thinking we were raised with here in America -- to question what you're told. To think outside of the box. To create. To innovate.

Who controls print? The communist government -- to benefit the people. This is why when I worked in Vietnam, we had to pay a government censor to censor our publication -- a directory listing of restaurants and shops. Once, I gave an employee the task of designing a new notepad with our new company logo. I gave him a sample -- for size and ideas -- of a notepad with our old rectangular logo placed along the bottom of the sheet. How did he 'design' the new notepad? He placed our new square logo -- stretched out and distorted into the shape of the old logo, so it would fit on the bottom of the sheet, just like the sample notepad I had given him. The Vietnamese fit square pegs into round holes -- and lack imagination, creativity, and innovation -- because they were taught great things, like respect for their teachers and their elders. They were taught to never question authority. Well, isn't the state-controlled media an authority? So, goes the logic, it is not to be questioned. Unfortunately, like the Communist-educated Vietnamese who were never given the choice, most Americans never question the media input they absorb everyday.

The voter fund of, an online advocacy group in the United States, recently sponsored a contest for Bush in 30 seconds ad spots. They were willing to pay the $2 million for a 30 second spot during the Super Bowl, but CBS refuses to air it. They say they don't want to cause controversy. Sources say that CBS, however, will air the advocacy commercials of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy -- which in the past has casually compared drug use with supporting terrorism -- a notably controversial piece.

You don't suppose it has anything to do with Viacom -- CBS's parent company -- lobbying for the lifting of Federal Communications Commission limits on media consolidation and conglomeration do you?

Nearly every channel you watch on television, cable, and satellite; every channel you listen to on the radio; movies you watch; and newspapers and magazines you read are owned by a mere six corporations owned by a mere few people, predominantly affluent white male. Kind of scary, don't you think? The fact that so much of our media is owned by so few people who regularly lobby the government to make their wishes come true -- paid for in the form of political contributions -- makes me begin to think that our media is becoming state run. Isn't it?

January 22, 2004

I [heart] you

I was at the Porto Rico Importing Company trying to use up my $84 of credit there (don't ask). Since I can only drink so much coffee on my own, I noticed they had the original Necco Sweetheart Conversation Heart Candy for a mere $3 a pound -- about 500 or so candies.

While the company history is pretty amazing -- they've been making candy since 1847 and the original recipe for the hearts began as the wafers (still sold today) since 1866. In recent years, they've acquired ten companies and they're debt-free. They've been using the SAME machines to make the candy since 1908 (or replicas), and they consult the original blueprints all the time to make repairs. They do zero consumer marketing. The most interesting tidbit on the company's fun facts page? "In very low humidity NECCO Wintergreen Wafers spark in the dark when broken." Those would be the pink ones.

Since the 1990's they started to change a handful of the sayings each year to reflect the times. This year's new sayings, as stated on their site, "promote sweet dreams and new beginnings:" [although "IM Me" is a bit odd!]
3 Wishes
Ever After
New You
Charm Me
Start Now
New Love
I [heart] You

That last one is in honor of the new Love postage stamp.

January 19, 2004

The Culture of Fear

I keep meaning to read Barry Glassner's book, The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things featured in Bowling for Columbine. Even while I haven't, I completely understand his angle -- and am glad that I don't watch TV.

It's sad.
These are headlines for today's news, literally, copy and pasted from WNBC's website:

Man Shot Twice In Head On Manhattan Subway Train
Woman Dies After Being Struck By Two Hit-And-Run Drivers
Newborn Girl Found Dead On Atlantic County Beach
Police Officer Kills Himself In Standoff With Authorities
Long Island Teen Killed While Skiing Upstate
N.J. Couple Finds Grieving Mother's Message In Bottle
L.I. Bishop Holds Extraordinary Meeting With Diocese's Priests
Sharpton Leaves Campaign Trail For MLK Day But Stays On Message
New Jersey Not Most Corrupt, But More Than Most
Autopsy Confirms Woman's Electrocution
City Says No To 'Oy Vey' In Brooklyn
Police: Teenager Fatally Stabs Father, Injures Brother
Cab Driver Charged With Raping Passenger
Physician, Former Drug Company Exec Charged In Wife's Slaying
Flight Instructor, Student From N.J. Die In Fla. Plane Crash
Mourners Gather In Randolph For Cheerleader's Funeral
Man Falls Through Ice On Lake, Apparently Drowns
Woman Dies After Clothes Catch Fire

Deep Freeze

Parbaked Butter Croissants
In my teeny tiny village studio, I have a teeny tiny fridge. It's one of those half-size ones, a little bigger than what you had in college. And it has one of those dinky little freezer shelves -- not much use ever, and a pain in the ass to defrost. Since I just got a Fresh Direct delivery yesterday, and I haven't had a chance yet to bake my fresh parbaked bread that they make, I'm taking advantage of the New York chill, and I'm storing the breads on the fire escape in their sealed bags in an additional bag (wouldn't want any fire escape drippings from the neighbor upstairs)... Seems to be keeping them pretty well frozen. While my annual salary is probably more than 95% of the world population, I haven't a decent place to store my food -- the life of lower-middle class Big Apple Living.

January 17, 2004

Tiramisu d'Agnese

Still haven't had time to translate, but if you know Italian, you're in luck. If not, try plugging it into a translation program, and then decipher from there.


5 cucchiai di zucchero unire solo il rosso dell'uovo (tuorlo) e mescolare. Poi unire il mascarpone e mescolare bene . Separatamente montare le chiare ben solide e unire il tutto mescolando bene. Prendere i PAVESINI e bagnarli leggermente nel caffe e stenderli nel contenitore di portata. Fare un suolo di biscotti e 1 di crema fino alla fine. Spolverare di cioccolato il sopra e mettere in frigo per 2 ore circa.

January 15, 2004

Shaking Up the Governor

The first time I spoke to the governor, it was in August 2003 in the stairwell at work, walking down 42 flights of stairs with him and several others in the New York City blackout. I don't think he remembers.

This morning I was formally introduced to the charismatic Governor Cuomo. We shook hands. He paused.

"Do you play tennis?" he asked.
"No, I don't."
"Let me shake your hand again." We shook. "Do you lift weights?"
"No, I don't," I shook my head grinning.
"Karate?" he asked, seeking out a reason for the strength behind the shake.
I confessed. "No, nothing. I shake hands."

After he watched a little presentation that I created for the firm, he turned to me and said "Let me shake your left hand."

We talked about the presentation a little and we parted, he said, "You're very valuable to the firm."


January 09, 2004

long time no hear

ok ok, so everyone says to me, "hey, hani, you haven't posted to you blog in months" so before my readership is reduced to one (my mom), i suppose i better start up again.

Italy was fabulous -- I went in October for my 30th Birthday and of course, loved it so much, I went back for New Year's. We rented a villa in Segromigno in Monte, just outside of Lucca and it was gorgeous. 17th century farmhouse, surrounded by olive groves and grapevines, gravel paths and cypress trees in rows. If you're interested at all, the company from whom we rented was Salogi, and the villa itself was Il Leccio. Marcello is the owner; a veritably sweet italian agriculturist, and the Fattoria-Mansi-Bernardini villas (there are five homes for vacation rental on the estate) are managed by the very kind Monica. Agnese was our housekeeper and she made my birthday dinner for me, complete with the most amazing tiramisu I've ever had. Recipe forthcoming, though it is in italian at the moment and I haven't had the time to translate.