Archive for March, 2008

My Saturday in Manhattan.

Monday, March 31st, 2008

I went into the city on Saturday to meet my friend B. and go to the bead show at the Metropolitan Pavilion (where I went for the chocolate show last year). I got to walk down my favorite block while I was there, 18th Street between 5th and 6th. I went into the used bookstore and as soon as that familiar smell of slightly moldy books hit my nose, I was right at home. The bookstore, should you want to drop in and check them out, is Skyline Books:


They have a shop cat. If you were on the fence about visiting them, this should push you over the edge.


Right next door is Utowa, a flower shop for the trendy and tasteful. I went in and looked at the vases and their ridiculously gorgeous flower arrangements. And they had one of the orchids I was talking about, my favorite orchid, I mentioned it in the Macy’s Flower Show post. I tried to take a picture of the orchid, it came out a little blurry, but you can still appreciate the evil goodness.


Across the street is a used CD store, where I just wandered in to kill time and then proceeded to buy a whole stack of CDs. They were between $3.99 and $6.99, and some of them were new, still in the wrapping. So super-terrific, really. The CD shop, called Academy Records, has a phenomenal collection of classical CDs, as well as rock, pop, jazz, spoken word, etc. They also have a big pile of videos and DVDs too. And I assume they have records too, because it’s in their name.

I eventually made it over to the bead show and met up with B. and I promised myself I wouldn’t buy beads unless there was something really really mind-blowing. And I was doing really well too, pottering around behind B. watching him buy bits of this and that and telling myself how good I was being until. There’s always an until. There was this guy selling ammonites. Here’s a bit of info on ammonites:

And I was fine until I saw them, all sitting there. See, I’m a die-hard fossil nut. I loves me some ULTRA-DEAD things. And I’m redoing my kitchen backsplash and countertop (there’s a point here). I’m redoing it with big tiles (because I cannot afford granite, butcher-block, stainless steel, zinc, copper, cement, etc.) and I’m going to incorporate some geode slices and (point tie-in here) ammonites into the backsplash and countertop. And there they were, taunting me with their sparkly not-alive-ness. And they were small and only $6.50 each. So I bought a few. Like, twenty. Hey, you’re not my mother, shoosh you! All my pride in my restraint went right out the window. But who cares, I got ammonites! Whoo hoo!

After B. and I had decided we had lightened our pockets enough, we decided to go out to dinner (it was 4:30). I had been to Soba-Ya once and I remembered it being fantastic, so I recommended we go there. It was right on the other side of town, but the weather was peachy, so we headed over. They lived right up to my memories. We had three appetizers, our bowls of noodles, and three desserts. The appetizer that I’m still dreaming of was the pork belly with a poached egg in sweet soy sauce. I don’t normally eat meat, but I would eat this everyday for the rest of my life. Ohhh, it was melt-in-your-mouth good. The dessert that I thought was the best was the honey wasabi ice cream. The honey and the creamy ice cream nicely balanced the ping! the wasabi put in your mouth. Oh, and we showed up as they opened the door for dinner. Halfway through the appetizers the place was full and by the time we left there was a long line. So if you ever go there, get there early. Like, when they open.

I would like to thank B. for putting up with my constant prodding during the bead show and when we were walking around the city. He has a nice quiet child, so I can’t imagine he is accustomed to someone going, “Oooh! Oooh! Lookit!” every three seconds. Bless his patient soul. I bet he went home and bought stock in Ritalin. Or joined a monastery that has a vow of silence so people weren’t JABBERING AT HIM ALL DAY. But anyway, thanks B. Next time I’ll bring my muzzle.

I must be in Hawaii, ‘cuz look at all this spam! (Hey, they can’t all be winners.)

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

 I love watching the evolution of spam, as you three readers well know. Now the spammers are clearly just looking through dictionaries to try to find random words and they are picking just the BEST fake names. Here, allow me to give you a sampling:

Maury Hardy
octavian apastron caribbee gadzooks sidenote crannog apocryphalness monotheist

Dixie Mendez
outmantle drukpa thinginess multirotation gyracanthus disguisal els osteophytic

Kermit Chaney
paxillary neurilemmal sublime horned duchess moltenly underprivileged prestimulus

Sterling Sargent
thermoelectricity chairmaker typometry semishirker barbarical chilitis benefactor myoid

It reminds me of those make-yer-own-poetry magnets that were so popular in the 90s. I’m particularly partial to the “sublime horned duchess” who is “moltenly underprivileged”. That must suck for her.

I’ve been working freelance in the city lately, and I must admit it isn’t the greatest commute from the ‘burbs (an hour and a half, door to door). But as I’m approaching the office, I am greeted by this sculpture everyday and it makes me so happy:


An owl! It’s like they knew I would be working here and they put that there just for me! New York is so thoughtful sometimes.

Addition: I left work late the other night, and get this: the owl’s eyes have green lights in them and at night they blink on and off! Green lights! Demonic owl sculpture! I… I don’t even have words for my joy.

I’ve been working. Lots and lots of working. Also, flowers.

Friday, March 21st, 2008

I worked some 14- and 16-hour days in a row there, and I am plum tuckered. I was working on a 200-page Powerpoint file, which usually isn’t a big deal, but there were charts on almost every page. I had to make them all match and they were a million different colors and fonts, it took FO-evah. Luckily I was working with my friend Nellie so I could turn to her periodically throughout the project and say, “THIS SUCKS. I AM TIRED.” And she would understand.

I’ve built some cute ads for that I will share with you now. It’s tough sometimes to stuff all the info the client wants into the ad, but I think I accomplished it on many of these.





The other day I went to the Macy’s Flower Show, where I took no pictures because although I brought my camera, I failed to bring the memory card, which was still in my computer at home. So I pulled a variety of images from the web. Luckily I found some pictures of my favorite bits of the show. They had a bunch of different gardens: the orchid and bromiliad garden (which was a bit lame, I must say, they picked pretty generic orchids and not one of my favorite kind, pictured below, which looks like a demon screaming at you with a hairy purple tongue:)


The best garden by far was the cactus and succulent garden (thank you whoever took this photo):


People may disagree that this is the best garden and I understand because I simply adore cacti and succulents. So it’s okay if you like the other gardens. I’m biased.

Also, as you walk in, there are little windows in the entrance hall with little flower gardens and big fake pearl-colored bugs which I loved.


I must have the giant beetle in this picture. They also had a dragonfly and a grasshopper. Creepy but delightful.

Oh, and while I was looking up pictures of the Flower Show, I found out that Uno, the beagle that won the Westminster Dog Show made a celebrity appearance.


They combined two New York things I love. I am just filled with glee. New York is the shizzle.

Gaze in awe at my new bathroom.

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

I’m going to try the Emperor’s New Clothes technique right here:

Isn’t this a lovely toilet? Isn’t it elegant with sleek lines? Note the attractive light fixtures I picked out.


And here’s my sink. I especially like the cabinetry under the sink to hold nice “guest” soaps.


And here’s the tub. Isn’t the tile I chose just smashing?


Oh, I can’t keep this facade up anymore. My bathroom looks like it was bombed with Skud missiles. But eventually, it will be beautiful. Eventually. Like, before I’m forty. Maybe.

I done read a book! Lemme tell you about it!

Monday, March 10th, 2008

I finished the book “Jewels: A Secret History”. If you’re like me and you just cannot get enough of the bling, this is a good book for you. I learned a great deal about my sparkly friends. For example, diamonds aren’t rare. Really, I’m not kidding. Rubies and emeralds, they’re rare. Diamonds are all over the damn place – Russia, Canada, Africa. How the diamond market works is De Beers pretty much owns all of the diamonds and releases them in little batches so they have complete control over how many are circulating at any time. Another interesting fact: sapphires are colorless in the dark. When you introduce them to light, they do this weird scientific thing that I barely understand, they exchange molecules back and forth, zip zip zip, and that makes them blue. If they don’t exchange a great deal of molecules back and forth, they’re not as blue. So when you see a sapphire, it’s doing some cool transfer of molecules, it’s not just a rock interpreting light rays. Oh, one more cool fact: diamonds, while known as the strongest stone, are actually quite brittle and can break and crack easily. One of the least breakable stones? Jade. Even though it is easily scratched, because it is fibrous, you can grind it under your heel and it won’t splinter like a diamond.

Anyway, long story short, if you like learning new things, I would recommend this book. The author speaks to the miners and the dealers and you really get a picture of the whole process. It’s fascinating.

Jewels: A Secret History