Archive for August, 2011

come on irene

August 29, 2011

Suffice it to say, the mere preparation for the hurricane tropical storm caused more calamity than its actual presence by the time it reached Brooklyn.

On taking a walk around the neighborhood to survey the damage in Irene’s wake, the remnants are a bit underwhelming—at least compared with the stock of canned foods, cooked rice, and bottled water I now have.

And why not impart some sage advice amid the chaos?

a little bit of cope (and a lot of Risk)

August 26, 2011

What an eventful week. Already New York has experienced an earthquake (its first?), which resulted in some hilariously snide teasing and relenting defensiveness.

Next up? A potentially devastating hurricane cometh. Though it’s striking a much stronger chord than the surprise tremors on Tuesday, our amusement in reaction to the earthquake have been drawn into nervous chuckles as the weekend approaches.

The first blackout I ever experienced was in kindergarten; we all stood calm and followed instruction with the utmost severity, but quickly declined into a game of hide-and-seek tag. Today, my colleague and I shared our giddiness over the thought of a blackout during the upcoming storm. There’s something about the novelty of an incident that gives way to youthful enthusiasm. Like a child pretending to be the grown-up (“Time to go to the grocery store!”), we begin to play a serious role (“Time to pick up flashlights and canned food!”), but with the expectation that none of it is real. We’re laughing through the motions, expecting—hoping?—that our actions will become fruitless exaggerations of something that wouldn’t happen.

This may explain why the first emergency supply that B and I picked up was a new board game, should we be trapped at home for an extended period of time (see above). Flashlights were out, but we figured the candles we have would be enough. By tomorrow, we’ll stock up on a few canned goods, fill up our water bottles, and wrap our valuables in plastic bags. But all with the continuous self-reassurance that “Nothing will happen.”

I’ll chalk it up to coping mechanisms, but here’s hoping that it’ll be only our quiet worries with which we have to cope come Sunday. Until then, bottoms up and game on.

a paler shade of green

August 24, 2011

Green my thumb is not. Nor is it olive, jade, emerald, or even that Crayola Spring Green with the textured flecks of yellow that really stood out when you were honing your shading skills as a third grader. See, I’ve managed to kill all but one of my herb plants (cilantro was the first to go; quitter). Incidentally, the remaining soul is the basil I’ve grown from seed, not any of the ones I picked up at the farmers market a few months back. Not to say the little one is flourishing, mind you.

That said, my tomato plant is looking great … minus the whole “tomato” bit. There has, however, been a sighting of one pea-size (and -color) fruit dangling from a vine somewhere in that mess of foliage and slender yellow petals. At this rate, I am hoping to have some juicy, sweet tomatoes come wintertime. Until then, I’ll dream of tomato and basil soup; the aura of anticipation may be my last hope to grow this pesky garden.

Or I can always blame the cat.

homemade is bestmade

August 22, 2011

New favorite breakfast: granola + yogurt + fruit + honey

I have a very specific layering process, for maximum delicious:

LID
granola
yogurt
honey
yogurt
fruit
yogurt
yogurt
BASE

Crunchy and smooth, sweet and tart. Yum. (Special thanks to my CSA for helping me figure out just how many blueberries I can eat straight before realizing I’m going to have to get creative. Next up: blueberry cuppies.)

drip drip drop

August 18, 2011

Few things make home more cozy than a quiet rainy morning hinting at autumn’s return.

Pity that the moment is disturbed by vocational obligations.

if cleanliness is godliness, dude did not have a brick wall.

August 16, 2011

I’ve seen many a vibrant, glossy, sealed and painted brick wall in my apartment-hunting years, and I never distinguished them from those raw, exposed interior facades, perhaps too blinded by the charm of these textured masses of natural coral, taupe and paprika hues. What my mind’s eye failed to notice was all the concrete and brick dust piling up on the floor.

Now, having finally acquired one of my dream features of a New York abode—the stunning, exposed brick wall—I am reminded daily of its flaws, in the forms of thick, coarse dust. Not only on the floor, mind you, but on the furniture, the books, the bikes, and even the art.

My defenses? Hand vacuum, air-in-a-can, and 409. My enemy’s? Another inch of dust overnight. This is a battle I don’t anticipate winning.

And, sometimes, it’s hard to tell whose side the cat is taking.

diversions

August 14, 2011

As much fun as you can cram into a few days, and it never feels like enough. The visit began to my former home, ended in my future home? Too soon to tell, but I love me some San Francisco. An X chromosome weekend with my besties from undergrad, preceded by a much needed family visit.

The little one becomes less and less so every time I see her. Her mind is so wide and absorbent. Every word is spoken with such enthusiasm as if it’s an inside joke she can hardly contain herself to keep. But nothing beats the scrunching of her tiny button nose as she grins coyly to say “eww” at anything on the ground or in the trash that warrants it. Who knew used tissues could produce such precious moments?

Being at the age of mimicry, chores are anything but. Never have I seen a more ardent performance of the sweeping of pine needles.

Then off to the city to have the at-least-annual silly good time with these lovely ladies.

I took the opportunity to convert my ladies to marathon cheerers, since the SF marathon neatly overlapped with my getaway and our mutual friend was running it. Have I mentioned how crazy fun marathon cheering is? Much more fun than running.

Standing at the 20-mile mark, we shouted words of encouragement, names when we could read them. It feels great to hear them shout back “THANK YOU” or even just seeing their solemn focus broken by a grin. One woman, exhaustion in her face but her legs pumping tough as ever down the hill, called back to us, “You don’t know how much this helps!” But most of all, it’s just fun to make a scene, particularly when most other bystanders are quietly observing, saving their outcries for a specific someone.

And what better ending to an extended weekend then coming home to my fella and my furball?

(I love this photo.)