Thursday, July 28, 2005

adventures in baked goods

doesn't it feel good to turn this


into this?


It only took me until 1:30 in the morning! When I read through the recipe the first time I thought you only had to let it rise twice, but apparently three times a charm. That took forEVER! I guess I shouldn't have started it at 8:30pm either maybe... But now I've had toast from my very own bread two mornings in a row, and it is so tasty. Worth a little lost sleep. Isaac didn't seem that excited at first, but last night he managed to polish off a few slices.

a very special goodbye post

Goodbye downstairs neighbors across the courtyard. We've been looking into your apartment for almost 2 years now, and seeing those boxes piled up in your apartment last week was such a shock. Now, this morning the movers came, and you will away to whereever. Probably someplace in the Midwest where you can have a nice yard for your yellow lab and wear colors other than black quite happily.

Remember the good times, when you would play fetch in the hallway with your dog and we would pass you coming up the stairs? Remember that time I was carrying a box of leftover pizza and your dog almost knocked me back down the stairs? And remember that time when there were workmen in the apartment across from yours and your dog barked all damn day? Oh, it was fun.

And then remember when you, male neighbor downstairs across the courtyard, you got an X-Box or something for Christmas, and you played it for 4 months straight? And do you remember, female neighbor downstairs across the courtyard, how you had piles and piles of journals that had gone unread for many months and then you tried to catch up or do something else requiring them to be stacked all over the living room?

Sadly, the only words I ever heard spoken by you neighbors was, "Hi" or "what did you expect? You are carrying pizza!"


Wednesday, July 27, 2005

it's time for summer smut!

Hello. My name is Christine and I'm a smut-a-holic.

It's summer, and that means that I get to read trashy beach books, even if I'm no where near a beach!

Here is the first of what I hope will be many fun books I read this summer.


I read this book in one sitting last Sunday. I've read pretty much all of the books by this author, Rachel Gibson, and generally think she is great. At the risk of repeating the word too many times, they are fun. I'm not looking for anything else really. Doesn't have to be particularly realistic. Hell, it helps if the books aren't realistic. I'd much rather read about people doing it after hours in the supermarket aisle 5. Who wants realistic? Although I wouldn't mind if she started branching out so that not ALL the heroes are retired professional hockey players. What's up with that Rach?

Anyway, if anyone has any good recommendations, I'm all eyes. I'd like to know where Jennifer Crusie's next book is, as she can always be counted on for a good time, and I should really catch up on the Janet Evanovich series (managing to work some smuttiness into the mystery genre and believe me I appreciate it (by the way I'm rooting for the cop and not the weirdo bounty hunter for the position of sex god)).

Um, that's all. Good night!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

It's Date Night again!

Guess what Isaac and I did on Sunday night. I'll give you a hint.

Penguin Desktop

So cute. This was a great movie. I could not believe how much drama these penguins go through. It was a really gripping story and there were some really terribly sad parts (I think the G rating is really slipping these days - that part with the mean bird was so scary) and some heart-squeezing cuteness of course. The part where the father penguin and the baby sing to each other to memorize each others' calls was unbelieveable. Of course, some of the stuff rings a little hokey, but it was a terrific date movie. Or maybe it's a good 'let's have a baby' movie. Let's breed, against all odds! The theater was empty when we got there - we always end up seeing the 10:30pm movie on Sunday night - and gradually 6 or so other couples showed up. Total date movie. Here's my tagline suggestion: Go with someone you are thinking about breeding with - today!

Monday, July 25, 2005

food folks and fun

Saturday my sister Beth and her husband Glenn came into the city and had brunch with us. We just did some fruit and eggs with smoked salmon and goat cheese (this was yummy and I don't even like eggs) and English muffins in the apartment. This was the first time they had seen our "new" place. Hurray! Then we went out for a walk up to Central Park and over to the big Whole Foods at Columbus Circle. I don't know why we always end up there on walks with out of town guests, when the novelty of a big supermarket is lost on everyone from outside of New York City. But it was air conditioned and we were getting a little droopy. Everyone but me got Jamba Juice.

Here we are in the park.


But the weather was so beautiful compared to last week. It wasn't humid, and was so nice and sunny and blue-skied. We made our way back to the apartment, a little pinker and much sweatier, and Beth and Glenn went back to Jersey to Glenn's parents' house.

Then we picked up and took our little grill down to Park Slope. Park Slope is apparently the Upper West Side (if that means anything to you) of Brooklyn. In terms of demographic, not geography. That must be why Isaac and I liked it so much. It feels like a friendly neighborhood with lot of families. We had been there before, but I'm ashamed to say how long ago that was. Anyway, our friend Tiffany was catsitting for a lovely and very fat big black cat named Stewie, and there was a roof terrace for our enjoyment. And enjoy we did.

I had TWO hot dogs. And some kind of chicken sausage thing. And Tiffany's guacamole. She doesn't leave home without it. And I can't post a picture because I've never seen anyone look so slumpy in any picture ever. God help me. My New Year's Resolution was to work on my core strength so that next year my resolution can be to have better posture. Well I'd better get to it. Pathetic.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

this made me laugh

When Isaac and I were at the three outfit wedding in May, that song Hollaback Girl came on. The girl sitting next to Isaac made a face, and said she hated it. The next day, Isaac asked why did Angela hate that song so much? This means Isaac likes the song, though he tried to be coy about it.

Anyway, here is a probing and in-depth analysis of the lyrics which is fun.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

i have the transformers theme song in my head and I hope that soon you will too

Remember that other weekend when Isaac was out of town and I was home in the apartment eating homemade microwave popcorn and garlic and stuff? I spent like two hours looking at this website of old theme songs and commercials - Retrojunk. Some of my favorites for your perusal.

Ahh, Saturday morning...

Wuzzles Theme I still remember when my sisters had their Wuzzles withheld because they snuck down to the Christmas presents before everyone else one year.

Muppet Babies song And sadly they only have the song, but this was my favorite Saturday morning show (I know you liked it too Stacy!)

Gummi Bears
This song literally brought tears to my eyes for some reason. Maybe because it sucked a little less than some of the other theme songs? Or I'm some kind of emotional wreck.

He-Man and She-Ra
It only occured to me after I saw this clip how silly this show was. Even his name is so Neanderthalish. He-Man. And why is is She-Ra and not She-Girl or something. Actually I remember having that thought even when I was like 6. It was an early lesson that the world just doesn't make sense sometimes.

Transformers. This was Isaac's thing, though he only collected the action figures and didn't watch the show, he emphasized. Like that makes it better or something. I have had this stupid song in my head on and off for a MONTH.

Then the more grown-up shows. I wasn't watching Wonder Woman or anything. My favorites were:

The Greatest American Hero
I can't even say how much I liked this song. I would be so happy when I heard it on the radio. My dad and I used to watch the show together for the brief time it was on.

Knight Rider The Hasselhoff. I have on my computer at home a whole 2005 calendar of David Hasselhoff. I don't know where I downloaded it from, but I promise to be less promiscuous in my future downloading.

Anyway, there's tons more of these things on this website - I hope you waste as much time as I did.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Fashion Field Trip: Shopping with the K's

I didn't mention this on my list of highlights and lowlights on the trip to Boston, because it doesn't fit into either category.

Isaac's dad managed to spill a full plate of food on himself at our Indian buffet lunch in Boston. I didn't count this as a lowlight because (let's be honest) it provided me with a little diversion, coinciding as it did with the Grandchild Inquisition. Divine intervention via the patron saint of married and childless women? I think so.

Anyway, after four trips to the bathroom to clean up, the curry was just not going away, and since he was inappropriately warmly dressed for the 95 degree weather anyway...we decided to go shopping. I tried to avoid the shopping trip a little bit, imagining the possibilities for humiliation. I know, I'm terrible. So I sent them on their way and went instead to look at the movie listings at the theater nearby, and then to get Isaac an iced coffee (poor overheated isaac). Alas, they were too slow for me.

I found the boys at the Gap. Isaac's dad had picked out a white t-shirt, but then needed to run for a bathroom at the bookstore next door. I was not about to stand in his way. eeee! Then Isaac decided that he was also too hot, and picked out a pair of $9.99 shorts while I held his freezing iced coffee. He went to try them on, and I did the wifely wait outside to inspect thing. He came out wearing his black socks and black clogs and the shorts. The appropriate footwear with shorts battle is ON in our apartment, and I've been saying for MONTHS that if he is to wear these clogs he may NOT wear them with shorts. I then hear him asking the salesgirl whether there is any possible way that he can wear clogs with his shorts. She looked at him like he had two heads, and said NO! Of course, he did wear black socks and clogs with his shorts for the rest of the day anyway.

Meanwhile, Isaac's dad is still not back. I post myself near the window to look for him, and finally, like 20 minutes later, spot him coming back. Finally. Except he charges right past the store. I had to run out and get him. Then we get back inside, and he asks the salesgirl whether they sell "short pants." Short pants. Like the kind they used to wear when they were public school lads. The salesgirl was like, "I don't think so." She probably thought he meant manpris. Isaac's dad persists, "NO SHORT PANTS? I can't believe it!" Isaac stepped in and saved them both from this stupidity. Anyway, he finally gets himself together and changes into the new uncurried, less stuffy outfit, and then buys the clothes still wearing them. (Isaac did this too, and this bothers me way more than it should.)

Come to think of it, the only reason this wasn't a lowlight was for the entertainment it provided at the time and the blogging material.

Monday, July 18, 2005

so wonderfully wonderfully wonderfully pretty

When Isaac and I sat around in the bookstore cafe in Boston, he grabbed a bunch of cat and kitten magazines to look at the pictures. He likes kittens, yes he does. Anyway, we noticed a headline on one of the covers which at the time I thought was chokingly funny.

"War-torn Iraqi cat: Now Safe in U.S.A.!"

Now a week later I'm still wondering about the implications of this headline. Was this the conservative kitty lover magazine? Is Cat Fancy too bleeding heart liberal for these readers? We're over there giving freedom to war-torn cats damn it, how can you not support the war!?! Or is this an apolitical cat interest story? Maybe if I'd read the article I would have a better idea.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

3rd grade (literally) humor ahead be forewarned

I think I might have mentioned before how isaac had a real problem with laughing fits in elementary school and getting sent out of the classroom often. There is one story that always makes me laugh uncontrollably no matter how bad I am feeling.

One day they were learning about friction in science class and his teacher asked the class to name some substances which could be used as lubricants. Isaac says, oil, some other kids say, water, banana peel, whatever. But then Isaac decided to use the new word that he had just learned, and raises his hand to say, feces? He got sent into the hallway for the rest of class.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

slow saturday

Isaac just left for a full day of music stuff (4 hr rehearsal followed by a wedding gig) and he left me at home where I did my ab/core workout, then laundry, and now I'm cooking a ragu. I think Dr. Laura would be at least a little proud. Well, except of the blogging which I'm about to do.

copied from ab and katie and stacy:

What stickers do you have on your car?I haven't had a car since I was 17. Back then I had a sticker that said, "Si quieres paz, lucha por la justicia."

How/where did you meet your last bf/gf?
First day of grad school, I walked in late to our orientation and immediately made eye contact with him. Then we were lab partners in the teaching lab training session.

What do you hear right now?The fan in the window and the DRIP DRIP DRIP of the air conditioner of the people above us falling on our air conditioner.

If you could have a drink of anything right this second, what
would it be?

Ummm, iced tea with lemon.

Does anything hurt on your body right now?Maybe my back a little. God I have terrible posture.

What's your job position called?
Postdoctoral Fellow

What size shoe do you wear?
7.5 or 8

What are you wearing right now?
My pink slippers, a pair of khaki shorts with a drawstring elastic waist (what?) and a red and white striped Gap halter top I bought on ebay (WHAT?) I still can't really believe I own a halter top. Next thing you know, I'll be wearing only tube tops.

Do you own a camera phone?
Nope, we're on our first cell phone and it's still the free one.

What's your significant other's birthday?
December 21st.

What's your Mom's favorite band/musician?
Peter Paul and Mary

What's your Dad's favorite band/musician?
He likes A LOT of music. The ones that stick out are John Fogerty, Cream, and I think they've seen a lot of Skynyrd in the last few years for some reason.

What was your highschool's mascot?
The Falcons

What's your favorite alcoholic beverage?
Margarita a la Isaac.

What's the next concert/show you're going to and when?
Gee I have no idea.

What were you doing at 9 pm last night?
Eating broccoli and watching a DVD of Seinfeld from the library with Isaac.

What's your favorite Starbucks drink?
I really don't like their coffee much. I always get one of those Tazo teas, usually the spicy chai one and add milk and splenda.

Do you exercise as much as you should?
Heck no but I'm trying to change.

Did you attend your High School prom?
Yes. No comment.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

never really into dolls

but I found these kind of funny. I don't quite get it though, are they action figures, as written or just figurines?



More here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Boston, a Travelogue

So, at 2:30am this morning, when I might have imagined myself in bed fast asleep, I was instead riding a bus groggy but awake thanks to the guy across the aisle from me who was screaming into his cell phone in Chinese. Mr. Cell Phone Man I have three questions for you: Who are you talking to at this hour? Why do you need to be so mean to that person? Did you consider that you might be waking other people up, including the adorable but cranky infant 2 rows behind you. And the adorable but cranky Christine? Just kidding I was anything but adorable at that moment.

We were on the bus coming home from a little family get-together. Isaac's dad happened to be there for a conference and so we went up and stayed with Isaac's uncle's family and had a little reunion there. Highlights of the trip to Boston:

1. We got to see the baby that was conceived on our honeymoon! Some family friends of Isaac's stayed in our NY apartment and had IVF while we were on our honeymoon. We finally got to meet Emma who is already 10.5 mos. And adorable of course. She's going to be a big sister soon too. Also met baby Emma's aunt who is a very well-spoken and charming rising sophomore at University of Chicago. I attempted to convince this nice girl that she should watch a Bollywood movie, specifically Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Our conversation went from little Emma's name to Jane Austen to Bride and Prejudice to Bollywood. I think I convinced her.

2. We picked up Isaac's dad from one of his conference events at the new Frank Gehry building at MIT. This building is KA-RAY-ZY. We could have poked around there a lot longer, but instead sampled the really really awesome reception food that MIT put out. They put other universities to shame.

3. Had a nice dinner with the family on Isaac's family china and with replicas of their stolen silverware. I'd never seen it before and that was kind of fun - how shallow of me.

4. Walked around Cambridge, down by the river. Hung out in the aire condicionado of the Harvard bookstore, reading The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands. Decided to quit work.

5. Visit Trader Joe's (i heart trader joe's and any normal sized supermarket actually) and buy snacks for trip home.


1. Carsick on the way there. Also, "the way there" turns out to be a crappy van instead of the expected bus. That's what you get for buying tickets on the internet from a company called Boston Deluxe. I bought some $10 dramamine in the extortionist rest stop.

2. Isaac's dad grilled us about our reproductive timeline, and I actually heard the words come out of my mouth, "I know that you are interested, but it's really no one's business but mine and Isaac's." Not that that stopped the conversation anyway. What fun!

3. We went to Whole Foods, which is generally fun for the supermarket-deprived, where i see a line of food called Stacy's Soy Crisps! I got so excited that I had to take a picture, at which point some worker tells me that taking pictures is not allowed in the store and I crawl in shame to the parking lot. I think that Stacy's Buttery Caramel Soy Crisps sound disgusting, am I wrong?

4. Carsick on the way home.

So there it is, our weekend. No pictures, I was too traumatized to use the camera after that scolding. Good night!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Date Night!

Isaac made us a reservation tonight at our favorite sorta upscale Mexican place. I got a gift certificate for there from my father-in-law for my birthday and we are putting it to use tonight! Isaac likes to describle the place as what you might eat in Mexico if you were a rich conquistador. They have a really good pomegranate margarita too.
We were hooked from our first visit with Nick. Since then, we went back with Isaac's parents a few times - his mom really loved the atmosphere and we went for a nice Mother's Day brunch once.

One of my most memorable meals ever was there, when we went for an all-you-can-eat brunch (these are super-rare in NYC except at Indian restaurants) to celebrate Isaac's first publication. They had so many different kinds of mole, chicken roasted in parchment until it was falling off the bone tender, 3 kinds of ceviche, lots of oysters (not my thing, but seemed quite decadent) and plenty of guacamole and mimosas too. It was a great way to taste everything on their menu. Sadly they discontinued the buffet - I'm still wishing I'd gone back at least once. Yes it was expensive for brunch ($32) but really worth every penny, and you can't say that about many New York meals.

Friday, July 08, 2005

is it still broken Stacy?

Just wondering...because it's happy hour! Isaac and I are thinking of seeing the penguin movie tonight after his chamber music rehearsal. Whee!

still managing to feel good

I sometimes engage in 'positive self talk' - you know, to combat the feelings of inadequacy and fatness that one might be tempted to wallow in when surrounded by images of unattainable glamour and beauty (i'm not talking manpri wearers). So I thought of the nicest compliment that I've received recently. Of course it was from my blog friend Stacy - who said that I had a "fat-free coleslaw shape".

This was really a surprisingly good mantra to repeat to myself all yesterday evening. I walked 11 blocks to the library thinking, I've got a fat-free coleslaw shape, look at me if you will! Even if I am wearing clogs and pants that I bought on Ebay! I'm eating all-you-can-eat sushi and I deserve to overstuff myself just this once because I have a fat-free coleslaw shape! Even if I can't meet the eye of the mind-numbingly cute guy across the table! And who cares if I can't think of even one thing to say when stuck walking 10 blocks home next to the same guy. Fat! Free! Coleslaw! Shape! Yes.

Then I went back and reread the actual comment from Stacy this morning because I'm still trying to maintain the positvity. Then I realized that I kind of misread it the first time. I thought she was filled with rage that I got kicked off the balcony before I could stuff myself with guacamole. But I realized she was kind of mad about my undeserved fat-free coleslaw shape! Ooops!!!! Poor reading comprehension. New mantra time. :)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

following in the big lug's footsteps

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

I totally lied and counted Greg as an acquaintance because I wanted to say I know a postman who I met online. Why didn't they ask if I have met any SAHM's online?

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Bonnie Butter Cake

I have to do another recipe post, since Lynn asked. This is the cake that my mom made for birthdays as long as I can remember. It's a no fail recipe. Most important is to cream the shit out of the sugar/butter mixture. That really lightens the cake up. Cake flour makes a much bigger difference than I would have thought too. Something about the amount of protein in the flour. Also, they are wrong about the cooking time - it's always done in like 35 minutes.


1 3/4 cups sugar
2/3 cup butter, softened
2 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups cake flour or 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk

Heat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour oblong pan, 13x9x2 inches, or two 9-inch or three 8-inch round layer pans. Mix sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Beat on high speed, scraping bowl occasionally, 5 minutes. Beat in flour, baking powder and salt alternately with milk on low speed. (Dry, wet, dry, wet, dry) Pour into pan(s). Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, oblong 45 to 50 minutes (not really! more like 35 min!), layers 30 to 35 minutes; cool.

Frost, if desired.

Serving Size: 1 (or so)

From Betty Crocker's Cookbook

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

oh by the way

Ooops. Remember those shoes I said were hideous? Well, they still are, but I saw one of Isaac's music friends wearing them last night. I felt kind of sorry to see it, but I suppose not everyone can be blessed with the sense to just wear Grandma's sweater and ugly clogs all the time.

the weekend was good and then bad.

Well we had a great time with the international crowd on Saturday night. We ended up making guacamole - because how can you not, it doesn't feel like a party without it anymore - and then we had taco salad with some special homemade salsas. It seemed like it was well received. But we always make too much food (a million times better than too little) and so we have eaten taco salad leftovers for 2 days now, and are getting very sick of it. Then we called Nick in China for his birthday, and it was great to hear his voice, though I was kind of sleepy by the time Isaac was done with his turn...

Then we were all excited to see the fireworks from the balcony on the building where we work. They put the chemists on the top floor of a building of biologists, I think because they figure if we start a fire, we will only hurt ourselves and everyone else will get out. So we have the nicest view. Isaac and I made 7 avocados more worth of guacamole (the only taco salad component of which there were no leftovers) and I baked a Bonnie Butter Cake (best cake ever) and trucked it over for fireworks viewing with our nice labmates. Sadly, despite the fact that this is an annual work tradition, some security officials who were probably trying to cover their own asses kicked us off the balcony, and so we had to come back to our apartment and eat guacamole and cake and watch fireworks on our 13" TV. That sucked big time. No sparklers or nothing to keep our spirits up.

I really hate being told by authority figures that I'm doing something I'm not supposed to. I seriously had a hard time falling asleep last night, and today I could not look the security guy in the eye. I've been feeling down all day. Not even a doughnut could cure me. However, I have a feeling that the guacamole I'm about to eat might do the trick!

blogger ate my Happy birthday Nick post. :(

Luckily it was emailed to me, so I can repost it.
How sad.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Happy Birthday Nick!

It's Nick's 30th birthday! Actually he's already feeling the birthday let down in China, where it's now July 4th. Nick's mom is Swiss and was determined for some reason that he not be born on July 4th, so she somehow managed to get him born on the 3rd.

When I first met Nick, I thought him a taciturn fellow. He walked really fast and it was hard to keep up with him. One of my proudest moments was when Nick came back from a year in China and remarked that I seemed a much faster walker than previously.

-Nick and Isaac were roommates for four years at college. They ended up attending the same university for grad school too, and lived together another 3 years after that.

-There was a brief separation while Nick lived in the International House, which had an agenda to exclude outsiders to force international breeding.

-Nick hates romantic comedies, but even more so, the "family drama". Stepmom, Ice Storm etc.

-Nick is a fast runner. Probably because he has a tendency not to notice when he is hurting himself.

-Nick is a great dancer - as you can see from these pictures. Actually though, I've never seen him dance so I am just going by the photos. I think Gina must have been the inspiration here.

-Nick was one of the best men at our wedding. He came back from China to attend.


Happy birthday from your fans in the U.S.A. Nick! We lifted one to you last night. Well, Isaac and Janie and I did, those other losers didn't even have a glass of wine.