Thursday, November 30, 2006

I'm Lovin' It

While I most definitely do not love not being able to eat leftover cookie dough, I am lovin' that I have a three day weekend. Tomorrow, I'm visiting Hope and her new bambino; Saturday, Meg is have a phat tapas party (yeah, there's a good chance I'll be bringing wine and cookies and not so much with the tapas); Sunday, bake-a-thon at Deidre's.

Busy, but fun.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Once you've had a chocolate turkey from Naked Chocolate, the Russell Stover version they sell in CVS is a huge, HUGE, letdown.

Where I Die From Embarrassment

So, I've been meaning forever to make an appointment to see a dermatologist, because I haven't seen one in about 7 years. The first time I went I was 24 years old and I didn't have any specific concerns at that time per se. However, as a fair-skinned person with freckles who tans often, I know it's only a matter of time before a problem arises. But my doctor thought I was crazy for coming in. You're so young, do you have any areas you're concerned about? Yeah, here's the thing, guy, I don't know what I should be concerned about and I have a million little moles and freckles so you tell me.

He told me to come back in 5 years. So 7 years later, I finally get a referral from my usual doctor for a new dermatologist. I decide that I need to see someone because I now actually do have some spots I'm worried about. And one happens to be on my left nipple. There's only a a couple of places that I'm embarrassed about showing my male doctors and this would be one of them. I know it's a highly unlikely place to develop skin cancer, but it is possible, particularly when you've done as much tanning as I have. I mean women get very normal bumps on the ol' nips but this one concerned me.

So while waiting in the exam room for the dermatologist, they send in the intern, who was probably all of 25 years old and he takes my history, blah, blah, problem areas, blah, left nipple. And then I notice all the color has drained from the intern's face and he starts stammering that he needs a chaperone. I was all like, seriously, relax, I'm not going to just whip my boob out unannounced or anything.

He leaves and brings with him the male doctor that I was actually scheduled to see and a female resident. All of them and their microscopes and my boob. There was much scruntinizing. One of the many moments in my life where I was hoping the earth would open up and swallow me whole.

The good news is that there's no problem. The boob thing has some long fancy name that basically means not-a-problem. The bad news is that they did laser off a couple of things on my hand, things not related to skin cancer fortunately, but now those lasered spots are hot pink and burning.

I wonder if I can leave work because my hand looks like it's radioactive?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


So many of you know that I sometimes go to the gym twice a day. I very much like going in the mornings. When I leave the house in the mornings the streets are totally deserted.

Morning gym visits are temporarily on hold because of this. If he was just a regular old attacker I might take my chances, particularly as his assaults are not particularly violent (that being said, serial rapists often intensify violence as they get more confident). This dude, however, has a gun and is in my neighborhood. As a rape defense instructor, I am trained to fight an attacker. But with a gun, all bets are off.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Decision

Over the last four days I've eaten the following:
apple pie
pumkin pie
birthday cake
sweet potato pie
potato chips and dip
pretzels and dip
tortilla chips and dip
birthday cake (again)

Yeah, between Thanksgiving and two birthday parties, things got a little out of control. This list doesn't even include the actual meals I've consumed--none of which were particularly healthy.

So I'm taking control. I'm going back on South Beach. Two weeks of no carbs. This is going to be difficult since I'm baking cookies non-stop. In fact, Deidre and I are baking cookies Sunday and I'm going to have to restraint myself. Technically, that also means no alcohol. That I have a dinner party on Saturday that will involve mucho wine will test my resolve on this one. I did South Beach in December last time too. And I distinctly remember the no carbs thing sucking royally when there's so many treats and drinks to be hand this time of year. But it's only two weeks, then I'll slowly add some things back in. I can handle two weeks. Right?

So this, combined with my usually exercise routine, should do the trick. It's going to stink a little bit, but honestly, I feel so unhealthy right now, I'm ready for it. I've gained 10 pounds since the wedding and I'd like to lose at least half of that by the new year.

Stay tuned.

Friday, November 24, 2006


It was a long day. We arrived at my parents' house at 11 a.m. and didn't leave until 9p.m. But it was a good day. Ron and my dad brought my grandmother to the house from the nursing home for a couple of hours. I'm not sure she understood where she was, but she liked my mother's new carpet.

It was good.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

All the Money in the World

What I'm learning is that there are no limits to a mother's grief. It is more vast, more far-reaching than almost anything else. The grieving process is far more complex than I ever imagined. How do you chart its progress? How do you know what's normal? What's okay?

Extravagant presents to us from a baby who has passed away? Is that okay? A Christmas card from that baby saying all the things I suppose he would have said were he 1) alive and 2) old enough to compose such thoughts. Do you accept an extravagant gift that comes with it the burden of having to make up for a lifetime of presents that would have been, had things turned out differently? Do you accept such things as part of the healing process? What do you do when a grieving mother does not want to hear that she doesn't need to compensate? That she can't buy back what would have been his first Christmas? What's more important: your own comfort level or her peace of mind?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Time Management

So, I realized I have a lot to do in very little time. We're going to my parents' house on Thursday morning so I can start cooking turkey. I had planned on bringing apple pie, lintzer tart cookies, coconut macaroons and apple sausage stuffing. Tonight, we're going to my in-laws so I really only have tomorrow night to make all these things. It's not possible. I'm going to have to cut back. Maybe just the apple pie and the lintzer tarts.

I actually did a test run of the coconut macaroons last night. Not very successful. I followed the recipe I had, and even though it looked like too much condensed milk to me, I ignored by own judgement and went by the measurements in the recipe. The coconut mixture turned out to be too soggy and therefore spread out flat on the cookie sheet. Have you ever seen a totally flat macaroon? Yeah, I didn't think so.

I'm determined to make the apple pie if for no other reason than it will blow my mother's mind that someone related to her baked a pie from scratch. I'm looking to improve mine so any of you pie-bakers out there, do you have any secrets? Do you bake your apples ahead of time? I've seen some recipes call for baking the apples in advance, some just bake them in the pie. Any tips on what kind of apples to use? I think I'm going to use Granny Smith and maybe a little more brown sugar than I did last time.

Today I'm off to Fante's to get the cookie cutters I want for the Lintzer tarts. I already have the dough for that made, so I'm hoping it won't take too long tomorrow. And I'll have to bake the pie. I don't think that will leave much time for stuffing and macaroons.

I've also created a list of cookies I want to make for Christmas. Like a stockpile of cookies, so I can bring them to parties, work, etc. Here's what I have so far:
vanilla spritz
sugar cookies
raspberry thumbprints
pinwheels (with Nutella in the middle-yum!)
chocolate chip
(more) linzer tarts
lemon meltaways
Mexican chocolate spice
peppermint thins
pizzelles (this will take some extra work)

I feel like I'm forgetting some. Anyway I'm not sure how to strategically go about making these. Some I could freeze the dough to bake as needed. Some I could bake and freeze. Some, like the lemon meltaways pretty much have to be made from scratch as needed, because they include cream cheese. Freezer space is at a minimum in my place, so I might need to get some airtight containers, and hope the cookies I make ahead will stay fresh. Can I just use gladware for that? Are they even airtight? I also still need to go to Michael's or A.C. Moore and get some cookie trays and red-tinted cellophane. I had planned on buying all this stuff early and being super prepared this year, but somehow it's not working.

My plan is to start making some cookies this Saturday, my only free day between now and Monday. We have the nieces' combined birthday party Friday night and the nephew's birthday party/Christmas party on Sunday. Another Christmas party next weekend.

The season starts early this year.

Monday, November 20, 2006

New Outfits

I feel like I need a couple of new outfits for the holidays. Nothing extravagant. But something new.

Speaking of clothing, has everyone seen the officially released photo of the TomKat wedding? It's awful. Katie looks like the hunchback of Notre Dame and it's sort of like she's desperately clinging to Tom. She's also completely sideways, so you can't see her dress very well, which was probably a closely calculated move by Tom so as not to detract attention from himself. Because you might notice that he's positioned facing the camera at a better, and more normal, angle for a wedding photo.

Anyway, back to my wardrobe. I'm kinda digging this sweater in red. I mean I need a new sweater to go with all my new shoes, right?

It's A Wonderful Time of Year

So I kicked off the weekend on Friday by buying my sixth pair of shoes in 3 days. In my defense they were on sale at Ann Taylor Loft for $24.99 and are very similiar to these (only the ones I got are brown velvet).

That night, Ron and I went to La Fontana, which was delicious. I ordered their regular gnocchi ala pomodoro, which was fantastic, while Ron ordered one of the specials, also gnocchi but with shrimp and scallops. The gnocchis were light and fluffy and didn't leave a heavy feeling behind. The place is pretty cute, the waiters are all from Italy and since it's BYOB, the bill is affordable.

Saturday I enjoyed one of the most satisfying days I've had in awhile. I took yoga with not-Nora, who switched things up a bit with a more challenging routine. I loved it and told her so. Then, instead of running errands all over the city like I normally would, I holed myself up in my apartment, cleaning and cooking. I lit some candles, plugged my iPod into the speakers and went to work. I made some ribs in my crockpot and baked my very first apple pie from scratch. For some reason, rolling out dough is not easy for me. I don't know why that is. Anyway, it wasn't the prettiest looking pie (I have yet to master fluting the edges of a crust) and while it was missing something (more brown sugar? maybe sweeter apples?), it turned out pretty well for my first attempt. I'm going to make another Wednesday night to bring to my parents' house on Thursday.

That night, I went to 5:15 p.m. Mass and then I headed out to Eulogy Tavern with Meg for some dirty ho's, a delightful combination of Hoegaarten and Framboise. By the way, someone needs to update her blog.

Knowing how much I enjoy going to see different real estate, Meg invited me to go with her to visit some open houses. So we spent the afternoon trapsing across town looking at a couple of cute trinities. That is, a couple of cute trinities and also, the Mother of All Houses. Trust me, the pictures do not do it justice. There's lots of original 1700s character including the plank pine floors. The kitchen is gorgeous, with plenty of room for entertaining. The bathroom is so fantasic, you almost don't notice the what-were-they-thinking red tub. The house is the perfect blend of original detail and appropriate updating. I love, love, love this house, and should it ever drop in price by about $100k, I'll make an offer.

Last night, I had a work function at Buca di Beppo. Lots of Italian food this weekend--YUM. Speaking of Italian, I'm headed to the Italian Market tomorrow to pick up some cookie cutters. I made a dough last night for Lintzer tarts and now I just need some fancier cutters than I have. Back to Fante's which, unfortunately, is closed today.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Oops I Did It Again

I purchased two more pairs of shoes today. In my defense, I did get the black pumps for work, as well as brown suede loafers with a wedge heel. These were two items that I actually needed.

The shoe buying frenzy continues....

Night Out

So Ron's on call over the weekend which means that he'll be sleeping at the hospital and that means I get the bed to myself! Rock on. In all seriousness, though, I've gotten entirely too used to having him around. Ron doesn't have a lot of call this year and although he works some long hours, at least he's home by some point every night. Next year, he'll most likely have call at least twice a week and while I am a big proponent of having alone time while in a relationship, it'll kind of suck that he'll be away from home that much. It'll also suck that he'll have my car with him. But such is the joy of being married to a physician.

Anyway, he'll be home Friday night and I promised to take him to dinner. I'm leaning towards going here, as it's only 2 blocks from our apartment. Plus the food looks good on the menu and we've been making an effort to try new restaurants. LaScala's is another consideration, as is the restaurant we always say we're going to try but never do, FridaySaturdaySunday. FriSatSun has an upstair bar, Tank, that I've been wanting to try. But I think we're going to wind up going to La Fontana.

I love Italian food.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


So I went to Macy's in search of the following kinds of shoes I'm in need of:
1. black sporty flats
2. brown semi-dressy flats--something I can wear with nicer jeans; I virtually have no brown shoes other than Puma sneakers and one pair of slingbacks I wear at work.
3. black pumps--I have a ton of slingbacks and I need a full shoe to wear with suits now that it's colder (well, it's actually 70 degrees today, but in theory it should be colder).
4. brown pumps--the aforementioned brown slingbacks are nice enough but, again, I need a full shoe.

Here's what I came home with:
1. knee-high, low-heeled black boots (to wear with skirts)
2. mid-calf, skinny-heeled black boots (to wear with jeans)
3. black suede, 1" heel pumps with an ankle strap

Yeah, so...I didn't really get anything I needed. To justify, I've been looking for low-heeled (not flat) knee-high boots for 2 seasons now. I could never find anything I liked or if I did, they were outrageously expensive. The leather on these boots is so fantastic I almost licked them AND they were on sale. AND I had a coupon. The black suede shoes can be worn for work with skirts, but they weren't exactly what I was looking for. They were, however, only $30. I have absolutely no excuse for the mid-calf boots other than they looked great and were super comfortable.

Unfortunately, this still means I really need to purchase at least the black casual flats and brown flats (I have all these clothes that need to be worn with brown shoes and I have NO suitable brown shoes!). I need shoes I can wear every day. Anyway, so this means I need to spend more money. Which I am angry about since Christmas is right around the corner and so far I've only purchased one gift. I also need to buy a new laptop because mine is completely dying a sad, and virus-filled death, I fear.

So, I shouldn't have bought all these shoes today. I feel guilty. But I also haven't really bought shoes in a long time.

One of the Few Instances When I'm Jealous of Dooce

She's going to be on American Morning. Even though I'm not a huge Soledad fan, I'd still like to meet her.

Proving That The Media Will Air Anything

I find this to be reprehensible. Furthermore, it's not news so how exactly is it relevent? To anyone.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Weekend Recap

So Blogger is trying to get me to switch to its new updated version, but I haven't had the energy to actually click the update link and see what that's about.

Anyway, today is not a wonderful day. But this past weekend, however, was a wonderful weekend. Friday night I met up with Deidre and another of her bridesmaids. We're desperately trying to solidify the location for the bridal shower and did a test run of some locations. There are some scary people at bars out there in the country ("the country" is my new term for anywhere outside of the city).

Saturday, I did yoga with not-Nora and finally did some weight-lifting, an activity I'd been neglecting. Afterwards, Ron and I did something we have never done before: we went for a run together outside. We've been talking about doing that for years, and I'm finally at a running place where I can kind of keep up with him. The weather was beautiful--actually, it was a little too warm for running-- but running outside is definitely hard for me. We walked around the Italian Market a bit, where I bought fun cooking toys at Fante's and then went to see "Borat" in the early evening. It's funny but also highly offensive. After the movie, we swung by the mall and started our Christmas shopping. I spent an hour in the Disney Store. Oy.

When leaving the Italian Market earlier in the afternoon, we drove past The Saloon, a restaurant that we've walked past during our house hunting days. We decided we'd scope it out for dinner. We settled in for a drink at the bar, looked over the menu, and then read that the restaurant only takes American Express. Who the hell carries American Express? Jimmy Rollins, apparently does because he and his crew walked past us at the bar. Since we don't have AmEx and there are virtually no ATMs anywhere in the vicinity, I decided to drag Ron over to Beau Monde. Ron had never been there and I hadn't been there in years. Everything was delicious and we left totally stuffed. They also have an upstairs lounge, which is gorgeous--sort of 1940s glam.

Yesterday, I went to a Christmas show (yes, Christmas) with my sisters-in-law. It was the first time just the three of us have hung out together so it was nice.

All and all a good weekend. Not such a good Monday. The good news is that I made a roast yesterday for dinner tonight so no cooking for me, just heating up. Lovin' it!


I'm under attack. We've killed five roaches this morning in my office. Make that six. And to boot, the bags of mouse poison are ripped wide open, with pellets all over the place.

I cannot take this in my workplace.

Friday, November 10, 2006

For the Love of Parenthesis

Some things in my world are eternally perplexing. Like the guy who runs the laundromat I use for example. I've mentioned him on this site before, like two years ago and I totally thought he'd be dead by now. Sometimes, I walk into the laundromat to find him slumped over in a chair and think, in fact, he may be dead, but nah, it always turns out he was just taking a snooze. He's rail thin, smokes like a chimney and has a cough that is disturbing to say the least. I've mentioned before that I think he lives in the basement of the laundromat. With the rats.

That guy--Al is his name--keeps to himself mostly. He's pleasant enough and he'll help you out when the change machine eats your $20 bill. But there's this other guy, I don't know what the hell his name is, that started working there last year as well. What a freak. He must have some mental problems but it doesn't help that he's a drunk. I always do my laundry while wearing my headphones as a DO NOT SPEAK TO ME message. Al respects the message. The message is lost on this other dude, who I might add smells like he hasn't bathed in a week, but did douse himself with Colt 45. He'll talk just to talk, rattles on about "his owner"--presumably the owner of the laundomat, as last I checked, slavery is illegal. His owner doesn't like people leaving laundry in the machines; his owner paid $100,000 for the building last year (?!); his owner says that there's a new microchip needed for the change machine. WHATEVER.

The worst part is that he tries to touch your laundry. If you're not RIGHT THERE when the machine stops, he starts taking it out for you. I understand that, maybe, if people are waiting to use the machines. But when only one other person besides me is in there, I will freaking cut your hand off at the wrist if I find you handling my undergarments. And he'll almost push you out of the way to get past you--it's not just me either. He does the same thing to Ron, who is usually mild-tempered but comes home from the laundromat saying, "I'm going to freaking murder that guy." I can't really convey what this man is truly like, just suffice it to say that he's inappropriate and annoying as hell.

Honestly, although I'm not particularly friendly, I'm always pretty polite. Even though I don't enjoy speaking with salespeople/staff/strangers and avoid them like the plague, I'm not really ever rude if I do need to speak to them. But this laundry guy? I'm about to lash out at him. And if he ever touches me--sweet Jesus, pray for him. And for me.

Anyway, one of the other great mysteries of the laundromat is who loves the parenthesis and why. Every sign in the place, whether it be hand-written or printed, has LOADS of parenthesis on it. Literally every sentence starts and ends with parenthesis.
So it's a little something like this:

(Steps to doing your laundry:)
(1. Put coins in the slot on the right hand side of the machine.)
(2. Select a cycle)
(3. Put clothes in washer)
(Do not overload the washer)
(4. Add detergent)

(No smoking in this facility.)
(Patrons use washers at their own risk.) (Owner not responsible for damage.)

What the hell?? Why? I mean on printed signs, someone actually added the parethesis with a marker. Maybe it's the English major in me, but those signs are like someone making tiny pinpricks on my soul.

I can't wait to have my own washer and dryer.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


I'm a little bit broken-hearted over the impending Reese/Ryan divorce. When they announced their separation, I had hoped they would just reconcile and get over the whole thing. Of course I had hoped the same thing for Jessica Simpson and Nick La-Che.

I could take or leave Mr. Phillippe, who, by the way, has entirely too many repeating letters in his last name, because he seems sulky and not much fun. But Reese, I heart Reese. I mean it's I've never been totally bowled over by her acting or anything (although I haven't see "Walk the Line"), but she just seems like a genuine person. She never acted out, she seems stable. She seemed to have a good marriage, cute kids (who she reportedly is actually raising herself with her husband sans the usual nanny), a solid career. She and Ryan made a very pretty couple and they didn't seem to seek out media attention. These are all things you don't seem to find in Hollywood. Reese even makes sure she has monogrammed stationary because she believes in hand-written notes. And since having monogrammed stationary is a belief I also subscribe to, I feel that she and I might be kindred souls.

Although admittedly, she's a lot perkier than I.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Song of the Day

Because it's stuck in my head is "Irreplaceable" by Beyonce. Go on, girl.

More Breaking News

Holy crap. I didn't think that would happen. Somewhere in the distance I think I hear the collective voice of the members of the military yelling "BOOYAH!"

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Breaking News

Is it totally sick that on election day, CNN's "breaking news" banner is citing that Britney Spears is filing for divorce?

Actually, is it sick that I find that bit of news more riveting than the election coverage?

Monday, November 06, 2006


So overall the cocktail party was a success. I have no idea what I'll do when I get a house, because it took me nearly a week to clean the apartment and I still didn't get to everything I wanted to do. The apartment generally speaking looked great though.

Kimberly and John, bless their hearts, arrived early, something I specifically told Kim not to do. Since she never has listened to me before, I'm not sure why I thought she's start to now. I had literally just thrown my clothes on and was still trying to get a handle on food and what was going were when the doorbell rang. Even though they're some of my best friends, I still feel the need to impress them and seem pulled together so I felt I had to start entertaining them instead of continuing to get ready. Anyway, Kim of course wound up being super helpful and honestly she genuinely likes helping out. So she might be the main reason food was actually out on the tables.

I was totally lazy too and with the exception of the guacamole, everything was store-bought. It was my first real party and I didn't feel like cooking on top of it. So I cheated. Martha Stewart I am not and I'm totally okay with that. Okay, maybe a little bit I wish I was more like that. There are people who throw parties that make it seem effortless and I fail miserably on that front. I can't seem to multi-task and do hostess duties while talking to guests. I just totally forget that I put hors d'eourves in the oven until smoke detector goes off. Okay, that didn't actually happen, but you get my point. I had a really great time though and I think everyone else did too. My friends were super helpful and everyone mingled really well. I couldn't really ask for more.

I'm actually itching to have another one. I'm thinking maybe right before the holidays, not as many people. Just to get rid of all the alcohol we've accumulated.

Super tired today. Didn't go to the gym this morning, so.....must put in double time tonight.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

November 1

Yesterday I wore pantyhose for the first time since last spring. I hate it. I had managed to put it off for this long, mostly because I didn't wear skirts for the last two weeks, except one Friday that I decided to have my own casual day and wear a skirt with knee high boots.

It's going to be a long winter.

La Che

I have to admit that I kind of want one of these.


My husband is not perfect. He isn't as neat as I'd like and Lords knows, he doesn't do laundry as often as I'd like either. There are probably at least a couple times a week when I want to strangle him for something or other. Now, to be fair, I'm not perfect either (shocking, isn't it?). I have a tendency to get snippy when I'm annoyed, I'm absent-minded, and I'm not very spontaneous. For all these reasons and more, I'm sure he has wanted to throw me out the window on occasion as well.

That being said, we rarely fight and yet we disagree all the time. While we have similiar core values, we don't agree on the day to day stuff (i.e. a piece of art, whether kids are better off in Catholic schools, the importance of a variety of shoes, how many medical journals one needs on-hand, the aforementioned laundry, etc). There are definitely times when I feel we are definitely Mars and Venus: I say one thing; he hears something else.

My husband is, however, ideal. He has never said anything to hurt my feelings and on the rare occasion we do argue, we fight pretty fair. We don't hit below the belt. We don't raise our voices. He has never made me feel like anything other than a good partner and an equal. For those of you who know me in real life, this is probably not surprising, because you know I would not stand for anything less. But I am very aware that I am very lucky as well, because there are many women out there who don't have the same experience as I. Women whose husbands make them feel badly, tell them how miserable they are. Husbands who hit below the belt.

I like a bit of drama as much as the next person, but I know I didn't want it in my marriage. There are people who find themselves in volatile relationships and this always fascinates me. I'm not necessarily talking about any physical violence here--that's a whole separate issue--I'm talking about self-induced emotional roller coasters. What do you get out of that exactly? And what will your children get out of it? Don't you want more for yourself? I was fortunate enough to grow up in a household where my parents genuinely liked each other and got along well and any arguments were always done behind closed doors. I respect that and that's what I've wanted for myself. I always said that I would never get married until I found someone worth marrying. That seems like such a simple concept, yet there are so many women who want the institution of marriage, the white dress, the babies and houses with white picket fences so much so that it blinded them to everything else. I know people who I knew would go the volatile relationship path and I always felt sorry for them. I wish they had wanted better for themselves too.

So is the love of your life good to you, good for you? I don't mean good to you on more days than not. I mean every day. Mine is. Not a perfect person, but a perfect partner.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Another Song in the Soundtrack to My Life

"How to Save a Life" by The Fray

Feeling Crappy

I ran 3 miles Monday morning and then rode the bike for 15 minutes. I ran 2 miles yesterday morning and rode the bike for 20 minutes.

Both mornings I was pretty damn proud of myself and felt great.

This morning I ran 0 miles at the gym and did 0 minutes on gym equipment of any sort. Why? It was raining. I might melt going to the gym in the rain.

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