Archive for July, 2011

immobilize to mobilize

July 20, 2011

this happened.

and then this happened.

Such a nice fella. Next step: getting him to keep cooking even after I’ve stopped hobbling around with a crutch. (I kid. He’s becoming a wonderful sous chef. Even if he’s still a bit timid with the appropriate way to chop veggies.)

N.B.: It’s just a sprain! Alas, I’ve finally gotten the chance to perform the litmus test for human decency on my commute, and the results are a wee bit grim. Still, a few nice people have offered seats, held doors, and one lady even helped me push through one of those particularly heavy floor-to-ceiling turnstiles!


housewarming gifts

July 17, 2011

We welcomed to our home this week a lovely little lady by the name of Brando. An acquaintance of a friend needed to find her a home, and as we’d been considering (though, full disclosure, I am a dog person), we couldn’t not take this little sweetheart.

She suited us perfectly because, at four years old, her traits and habits are pretty much down pat, and notable traits they were: doesn’t scratch furniture (though she has her claws), doesn’t care for plants, and doesn’t meow much. While we’re not quite there with the latter—she’s still adjusting, new people, new place, new routine—the other two we’ve been very appreciative of.

Other darling features:

  • She pants like a dog, tongue lolling and awkward pug-esque smile.
  • Her vocals fall somewhere between chimp and Jetsons car.
  • We’ve noticed she matches our apartment’s earthy color scheme quite perfectly.

Already she’s giving us gifts, which I imagine to mean she’s happy in her new home with her new owners. This morning I woke up to see the rug by our bed sloppily folded up: a wrapped present. The contents? A giant dead cockroach. She sat proudly next to it, eying me for admiration.

Now, this would have been a more satisfying sight, had I not been previously under the impression that my apartment did not have cockroaches. But, as the fella so eloquently put it, half-asleep as I jabbed at his side, “It’s New York, baby.”

Epilogue: The cat got many treats for breakfast. I just hope she’s not a frequent gift giver.

business travel essentials

July 8, 2011

After one or two conventions, you start to pick up on those little things that survival necessitates.

Clockwise, from top left:

Emergen-C. Every day. Twice a day. Because standing inside a convention center with 10,000 people and recycled air for three days straight, 10+ hours each day does not a healthy environment make.

Obligatory vessel of work and play, connectivity and disconnect. Yes, you can access work email. You can also access silly blogs, friends, family and the ubiquitous brain drain the internet warrants. Because this is what you need after being around 10,000 people for 10 hours straight (see above).

Spare key to that lovely hotel room. Nothing makes business travel more fun than having the fella tag along and reap some of those bennies (and rub your feet at the end of the day).

Fresh fruit. No, really. How often do you get fresh fruit when you’re away from home? Besides the afterthought presence of underripe oranges and overripe apples at bodegas and employee lunches, your body will see few (if any) of those vitamins on which we fruit lovers thrive.

Of course, this is just the current short list. More survival tips to come (and to learn).

B&B chic

July 6, 2011

While I would never adorn even a closet of mine with gaudy floral wallpaper, there’s just something about bed-and-breakfasts that necessitate such a quaint kitsch factor. The West Dover Inn, where we stayed for our weekend escape to Vermont, nailed that look with its explosion of floral patterns and country clutter in pretty much ever room (take a look for yourself at the guest rooms on the site). On top of the aesthetic bonus, the innkeepers were exceptionally friendly, helpful, and charming.

So let’s break down the art of B&B chic with a few simple rules:

1. Essential decor: antique radios, sepia globe, sepia anything, and colonial art. Bonus points for toile dishware, delicately chipped.

2. A credenza packed with board games old and new, pieces missing or scattered about, provides kitschy good fun. As does, of course, a partially complete jigsaw puzzle. (The innkeeper’s son was quick to declare puzzle assembly using an image of the final product indisputable cheating. I could not agree more.)

3. Serious props to innkeepers who provide handmade puzzles of maps with an X that marks the spot of the town’s best swimming holes.

4. Edible coziness: cheese, crackers, homemade preserves that, though unidentifiable, taste so good your guests eat it anyway, and a bottle of wine.

5. Additional antique radios set angled atop decorative doilies alongside a floral lantern-style table lamp perfectly offset floral wallpaper, floral sheets, floral pillowcases …

6. You can never, ever have enough charming floral (and literary) accoutrements.