Monday, April 28, 2008

Murphy's Law

Here's my solution to the drought crisisii of the world:

Throw a black-tie gala with lots of outdoor locations, under a tent, with lots of VIPs scheduled to arrive by car service, and lots of money to raise.

Yes, I know this sounds weird, but bear with me.

You are guaranteed a 95% chance of rain. Not Irish/Seattle sunshine kind of rain, which is a light mist or drizzle. You'll get a full-blown gale, with pouring down side-way rain of puppies and kitties, with huge puddles, and cold-n-damp, which renders an umbrella basically useless.

I kid you not. Here's my evidence for this hypothesis.

At my last non-profit job, whenever we threw the annual black-tie gala, 9 times out of 10, it would be exactly as described as above, but much worse, as the tent was set up on the grass fields -- which rapidly became mud pits. (Well, until they started sacrificing the small woodland creatures, but that's another post). Women would still wear stilettos, which was ridiculous. People wouldn't bring umbrellas. Also ridiculous. Don't you listen to the weather forecast? Just because you are wearing black-tie, does that mean you have your own clear-weather bubble? NO!

Flash forward a year and a half later to the current job's every-other year gala. For the last two weeks, it's been beautiful, sunny, and warm. Guess what it's doing today?

Pouring down cold and freezing rain.
In N.Y.C.
In two venues.
Blocks apart.

Guess who's on umbrella patrol -- AGAIN!?

Not little Ms. Sunshine, let me just tell you that.

Crap. I hate black-tie, dressy, heel-necessary Galas ... IN THE RAIN!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Spotted in New York

My ship has finally come in
Someone to watch over meReminder of a not-so distant past

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Weird Foods

I am no Andrew Zimmern but I've had some slightly weird foods in my time.

  • Blue corn fungus (thanks Jane);
  • grilled cactus (thanks James);
  • mako steak -- yup, mako, as in the shark (thank Jane's Dad);
  • lime jello salads (thanks Utah Mormon upbringing);
  • fry sauce (see above);
  • mystery Communist era food in Moscow and Leningrad [as it was known then] (school trip); and the
  • ubiquitous fruitcake, to name a few.

When I saw that the local gourmet deli next door was carrying the following chocolate bars again, I just had to buy one. Mo's Bacon Bar. You read that correctly .... Bacon. Chocolate. Bar.

See, here's the wrapper to prove it, and the link to the website.
It bears all of the hallmarks of a satisfactory experience; chocolate, salt, sugar, grease, and crunchy bacon bits.

Evidently, the "creator" of this mix saw the possibilities when she was a wee small thing:

"I began experimenting with bacon + chocolate at the tender age of 6, while eating chocolate chip pancakes drenched in Aunt Jemima® syrup, as children often do. Beside my chocolate-laden cakes laid three strips of sizzlin' bacon, just barely touching a sweet pool of maple syrup. And then, the magic—just a bite of the bacon was too salty and I yearned for the sweet kiss of chocolate and syrup, so I combined the two. In retrospect, perhaps this was a turning point; for on that plate something magical happened, the beginnings of a combination so ethereal and delicious that it would haunt my thoughts until I found the medium to express it—chocolate.

From there, it was just a matter of time…and what began as a love of salt and sweet quickly unraveled into an obsession. No sooner could I wait to unveil the royal coupling in solid bar form, a deep milk chocolate with bits and pieces of applewood smoked bacon and just a sprinkling of Alder salt. Really, what doesn't taste better with bacon?" –Katrina

What doesn't taste better with bacon? Indeed.
That Katrina is my kind of GENIUS.

Unfortunately, the reality is quite different from the imagined flavor sensation. A taste test in the office of about 6-7 brave people yielded mixed reviews. It was "okay," "surprisingly not bad," "interesting," etc. If I hadn't bought it and shared, most people would have kept passing it on by.

My humble opinion? More crunchy bacon please, less chocolate. For a real satisfactory PMS experience, I'd rather fry up a bunch of thick crunchy bacon, melt some semi-sweet chocolate and have a bacon fondue experience.

Now that sounds good.

Next up when I have more discretionary income? The Red Fire bar with cinnamon, ancho and chipolte chilis and dark chocolate.

Yo Krippy. I actually bought this to be part of your b-day present. Sorry it didn't get to you in Maine. If you want one (large or mini) or an assortment of the mini-bars, let me know.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Best String Quartet EVER!

Why is the best String Quartet ever?

1. Crazy*** musical notation;

2. Classical musicians rocking out LEATHER PANTS;


3. One dedicated vehicle/camera crew PER ensemble member.

Presenting ...

Karlheinz Stockhausen's
Helicopter String Quartet

(insert Kermit the Frog's
Muppet Show ... YAAAAAYYYYY!)

This ain't your mama's chamber music.

What season is it?

Sometime spring can sneak up on us ... before we have a chance to take down the winter/holiday decorations. This was the scene outside the Big J just last week.

Big Wintery Snowflake Twinkle Light Decorations
Note the flowering leafy buds.Today, it's supposed to be in the high 70s-80, and those flowery leafy buds? Full on leaves.

Two weeks ago I was wearing my winter coat. Today I'm complaining that the a/c isn't working in the building. What happened to spring?

Krippy -- I guess this means that eventually all your snow will melt and you'll be able to send the kids outside. There's HOPE!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wacky Headlines

Truth is better than fiction. To wit, this headline (modified slightly):

Cops: Man with hatchet tried to steal former female roommate's underwear

SOMEWHERE IN THE U.S. -- A 25-year-old ... man toting a hatchet tried to steal a former female roommate's underwear but was scared off by a new roommate, police said.


Librarian Stereotypes in Comedy

That Ellen DeGeneres is one pretty funny lady. In her blog she poked fun at my second profession.

Favorite quote from the entry:

Have you ever been yelled at by a librarian? It tickles. I bet when they go out at night, librarians are totally different. It's probably something like "Librarians Gone Wild." I bet its just like the"Whitesnake" video. You remember the video? They take their glasses off, the wind starts blowing in their hair and end up on the hood of a Camaro. ... It's because they can't see. They think it's their bed.

I'm sure someone out there in Libraryland is going to make a spoof of this and it will end up on youtube, but it won't be me.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Today I am a ...

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

Which is weird, because five minutes ago, I was something else MUCH less retiring.

Quote of the Day

I keep my countenance,
I remain self-possessed
Except when a street piano, mechanical and tired
Reiterates some worn-out common song
With the smell of hyacinths across the garden
Recalling things that other people have desired.
Are these ideas right or wrong?

T.S. Eliot
"Portrait of a Lady"

Forward to The Archivist by Martha Cooley

Friday, April 18, 2008

In the Heights

Last night I had great plans to do something like 5 loads of laundry. I had even gone so far as to strip the bed, sort the colors/white, find the fabric softener sheets, haul out the 5 lb bottle of detergent, sort out the change to find all the quarters, and place the two baskets of dirty laundry by the apartment door. I was committed to doing the laundry. I had a plan.

Plans change.

About mid-day an e-mail went around the Big J with a free ticket offer to a newish Broadway show, In the Heights. Hello? Free show? Yes please!

I knew next to nothing about it, aside from it being a new musical set in the Washington Heights section of New York during the present day. I'd heard the radio ads and it had been peripherally on my radar, but since Broadway ticket prices are so expensive these days and I don't have a lot of time or money, I hadn't investigated it further. (Plus, I loathe mid-town. Don't get me wrong. I love Broadway and theater -- but the hordes of people there are worse to navigate than the subway and Grand Central during rush hour -- and that's saying quite a bit.)

The show was totally relatable, especially if you've spent any time in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, have friends from P.R. or any Hispanic/Latin background, or have worked in NYC. My Spanglish was good enough to understand the mix of English, Spanish, hip-hop rap, NY patter, and slang. The set made it look like it was a typical corner in NY, with its bodega, beauty shop, and apartment walk-ups. Two of the leads were actors known for their appearances in Center Stage and Charmed (among other shows), and the mix of Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cuban, African American, and other ethnic mixes were hysterical. There were a lot of "in" jokes that I don't think that the vast audience got, seeing as it's April break and a great deal of out of town school groups are here from the mid-West and the deep South, but those of us who did were crying with laughter. The dancing was a phenomenal mix of Latin, hip-hop, and modern street dancing, and the music was infused with an infectious Latin flavor. (Click here for the Musical Montage)

Apparently the show has quite an evolution. A few colleagues and I were talking about it today, and one of my office mates knows the lead, who was also the show creator. There are a bunch of articles at The New York Times site (see here, here, here, and oh ... here).

Yes, there were moments when the plot was contrived, the songs and staging were calculating, and a few of the characters were weak and their voices weren't as strong as the others. But, it's like t.v. -- suspend belief and buy into the story. If you want to go to a Broadway show set in the current "real" New York, this is it.

For those who need to know about ratings, I would consider it PG-13 for some language, both English and Spanish; suggestive situations, including implied sexual relations (not shown), "dirty" dancing; and some revealing clothing, i.e. short skirts, bared mid-riffs, exposed arms, etc. However, I saw and heard worse every day in school, many many years ago, and see it everyday going to work. If you're prudish, it might be a problem.

If you get a chance to see the show, I recommend it. Avoid the Disney-fication of Broadway and go see ...

In the Heights


Joys of Apartment Dwelling

I came home from work the other night and found this posted in the elevator.

I hope they return the carts soon. I have 5 loads of laundry to do!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Star and other Strange NYC Sightings

As I was walking down Park Avenue last evening en route to Grand Central Terminal, enjoying a brisk spring evening, grooving to my ishuffle and dodging cabs, who did I happen to walk right by?

Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd

Guys, hope you made it to your function on time. You made my night.

Also spotted on the streets of New York -- the updated version of the Grim Reaper meets the 1880s meets Mr. Lincoln meets who-knows-what!

6 plus feet plus of hirsute oddness,
You know someone is odd-looking when even jaded Upper West Siders/New Yorkers turn and gawk and comment to each other on the street corner. I thought this guy looked odd to just me, but apparently he's pretty unusual for these here parts. As I happened to have to follow him out of the subway and down four blocks to the library, I heard many remarks and saw many a double take, and NOT at me for being so obvious in digging my camera out of the bottom of my bag and then snapping away.

(Judge me not. You would have done the same.)

The bushy ponytail and full frizzly beard were scary enough from the back. Thank goodness for the zoom function. I was NOT going to get closer, or to go around and see what he looked like from the front. There might have been some red glowing eyes or horns or something.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Another query about infotainment

Please tell me ... how does the death of a celebrity's dog really merit media attention?

First we have the Big O's spaniel getting a whole show dedicated to its memory, and much to do made over just that fact. Today we have Ms. M.S*.'s chow chow getting AP wire coverage.

There are more important things that need media space, say, oh, I don't know: the economy, the war, famine, plague, strive, wars and rumours of wars. Priorities people, please!

Yes, I understand that pets are important family members to their owners/caretakers -- but national and international media attention?


* and this has NOTHING to do with the fact that I dislike strongly Ms. M.S. and consider her the equivalent of a demon from Hell.

(So glad that the comments are disabled! Can just imagine the flaming I would be getting right now ... )

Riddle me this ...

Yesterday I saw an interesting link to a Time magazine blog that had the headline:

Girls who go to church work harder

Finally! An excuse for my workaholic tendencies!

Unlike some denominations which only meet for 1 hour, once a week, my little religion had/has us at church on Sunday for more than 3 hours, PLUS we had/have church activities another 1-3 times a week, PLUS additional religious studies at home throughout the week.

Putting semantics aside, (since the study says go to church, not has gone to church a great deal in the past, but not so regularly these days to the great sorrow of parental units, church elders, and the Lord,) does that mean I've been so indoctrinated over the years that I feel guilty if I'm not working?

What about a genetic predisposition to being a workaholic? I can trace it back at least 4 generations on each side of the family, not to mention I was brainwashed by early experiences in the fast food trenches and now am bending to the sway of corporate culture.

What does this all mean?

Alas, I have no time to ponder this, as I'm actually at work and now feeling guilty about NOT working.

Pray for me.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Photos of the Day -- for Drew and Drew's Dad

There's a fire house around the corner from the office that I pass on my way to my recreational library. Look what was parked out front.I didn't take photos of the whole thing, because I didn't want to look like a tourist and all. But I did want to take a photo to share ... of this little guy.
I happen to walk by a couple of times a week, just to check out the "scenery."

I love New York ... Firemen.

Random comments and such

Unfortunately the Blogosphere/InterWeb are proving to be too much of a distraction for Auntie Nettie right now, as she's got a lot of deadlines and such. While I'm not pausing on blog entries, I am going to be weaning myself off the other aspects of the BloggiNet for a while. To that end, I have archived the comments and turned them off the foreseeable future. This function is fun, but has caused some dysfunctionality in various relationships, which is highly regrettable. So, to try and fix the situations, I'm stepping back and, as advised, keeping my mouth shut for a while.

Starting ....


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Fake Name Nominations - Round 3

The names selected for the Round 3 of the Fake Name Nominations are now up.

Remember, we're taking about a month to poll and then finalize the results of the nominations. This will be a tiered process; with this final week to narrow down the 15 names that I have deemed usable. Next week will be the "name-off."

Round 2 resulted in a 3-way tie, so we'll have to do a drawing to see which of these fake names will be moving into the "name-off."

June Morgan 2 (28%)
Netalia Mayfield 1 (14%)
Grace Andrekneviel 0 (0%)
Jazmon Jones 2 (28%)
Nellie Mayfield 2 (28%)

Thanks to the person(s) who voted 7 times.


(Can't remember why we're voting? Go here and here.)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

When Bad Things Happen to Good Peeps

Peeps Sunnyside upSteamed PeepsPeeps Under Glass
Sleeper Agent CylonPeepsIndustrial Accidents Sexual Harassment in the Classical Music World (Bad Boys J.S. "Baby Daddy" Bach and Wolfie "the Groper" Mozart)

Peeps Making Crank Calls(What does constitute a Peep emergency?)

What happened when the Peeps met the Ladies who Lunch
Doing the twist ...the dunk ... double-fisted jab ...

and the KISS OF DEATH!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Pet Peeve of the Day – The RSVP

Over the years I have been the hostess of my share of bridal/baby/house warming showers. As part of my duties in the wonderful world of fund-raising, I have also had to organize many, many, oh-so-MANY events. You would think that I would be used to the lack of understanding of the proper response to the receipt of an invitation, but this last party that I’m trying to plan has snapped my last nerve. So today boys and girls, let us talk about the RSVP.

At we find the RSVP defined as:

RSVPed or RSVP'd, RSVPing or RSVP'ing, noun, plural RSVP's.
verb (used without object)
1. to reply to an invitation: Don’t forget to RSVP before Thursday.
- noun
a reply to an invitation: He sent a lovely bouquet of flowers with his RSVP.
3. (used on an invitation to indicate that the favor of a reply is requested).

[Origin: 1895–1900; F r(épondez) s('il) v(ous) p(laǐt) please reply ]

I have no problem with the definition. It is the application of the definition that people don’t seem to understand. I have gotten more messages that state:

“I would like to RSVP for the …”

You replied. Great. Thank you for actually adhering to the meaning of RSVP, or the “please respond by.” That is wonderfully appreciated. It is SPECTACULAR in fact!

Now, tell me what I really need to know:
Do you need a seat/ticket/name-tag or not?
Are you are actually COMING TO THE EVENT?

I am finally to a point in the numerous voice-message/e-mail/in-person conversations that I have with people that I have them check/state one or the other of the following:

___ YES, I am coming to the event/need a seat/need a place at the table, please;


___ I am sorry that I am unable to attend.

WHAT IS SO FRAKKING CONFUSING ABOUT THIS? You’ve probably been a host for event before. Don’t you remember how hard it is to plan when you don’t know who is, and how many are, attending?

So, please, the next time you get an invitation and are asked to RSVP – THINK about how you are responding.

Thank you.
That is all.

P.S., the “regrets only” tag-lines don’t work either.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Beauty and the Beasts

I've decided that the only way to endure the commute is to start looking for the small things that are easily overlooked or ignored in the rush to get from point A to point B. If you start to look for the little things, you'll find beauty in the most interesting places.

Subway Art
Tiles at 86th Street
Strangely, this tile isn't at the 66th Street Lincoln Center station where it would make more sense.
View from Metro-North Train
Wakefield Station

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Fake Name Nominations -- Round 2

The names selected for the Round 2 of the Fake Name Nominations are now up.

Remember, we're taking about a month to poll and then finalize the results of the nominations. This will be a tiered process; with a few more weeks of narrowing down the 15 names that I have deemed usable, and 1 week of a "name-off."

Round 1 resulted in a tie, so two fake names will be moving into the "name-off."

June Field Maxwell 6 (31%)
Ashford Smalls 2 (10%)
I is Card Cat Alogue's lova 4 (21%)
Juno Maxfielderson 1 (5%)
Gard O'Debooks 6 (31%)

Thanks to the person(s) who voted 19 times.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Auntie Nettie Reads A LOT - 1st Quarter

At the risk of being judged by my choice in reading materials, I am posting the list of books I managed to read from January through March of this year. This blog is going to act as my book diary, mostly because I'm tired of not remembering what I've read and never have my lists handy when I'm trying to update the catalog and/or order more books.

Please note: I'm not going to say what I've enjoyed or not, to make recommendations (for the most part), or to link to major on-line catalogs or retailers, as to not sway your opinion of me or the authors' hard work. This is just a list. I am posting this for me. There may be trends and themes, but they do not represent all of my interests or wholly represent me. Believe me, I read a lot (though I used to read about a book a day). Stick around. The trend may shift considerably in the next few months.

If you have questions or comments, you can post them. Remember, however, that Auntie Nettie's Attic has a Comments policy and I will moderate the comments as I see fit. (It's my blog and I'll censor if I want to, so there!)

Go read. I don't care if it's a trashy romance, a boringa** history, anime, a children's book, a biography, the back of the cereal box, or a tome. Just read something.

Reading List for January 2008
The Bishop's Bride by Elizabeth W. Watkins
Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich
A Secret Rage by Charlaine Harris
Long May She Reign by Ellen Emerson White
Reserved for the Cat by Mercedes Lackey
Blood Brothers by Nora Roberts
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Scandal of the Season by Sophie Gee
Just Jane: A Novel of Jane Austen's Life by Nancy Moser
Sandcastles by Luanne Rice
What Matters Most by Luanne Rice
Without You: A Memoir of love, loss, and the musical Rent by Anthony Rapp
The Glass Harmonia by Louise Marley

Reading List for February 2008
Big Boned by Megan Cabot
Blood Is the New Black by Valerie Stivers
Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler
See Jane Date by Melissa Senate
Whose Wedding is it Anyway by Melissa Senate
Persuading Annie by Melissa Nathan
Me and Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter
Blood Price by Tanya Huff
Blood Trail by Tanya Huff
Blood Lines by Tanya Huff
Blood Pact by Tanya Huff
Blood Debt by Tanya Huff
Blood Bank: a short story collection by Tanya Huff
The Gatecrasher by Madeleine Wickham
Many Bloody Returns by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner
Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen: A Novel by Susan Gregg Gilmore

Reading list for March 2008
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
The Secrets Between Us by Barbara Delinsky
Wild Designs by Katie Fforde
The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James
Smoke and Ashes by Tanya Huff
Smoke and Mirrors by Tanya Huff
Smoke and Shadows by Tanya Huff
Space Opera edited by Anne McCaffrey
Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
The Book of Lost Books by Stuart Kelly
How (not) to have a perfect wedding by Arliss Ryan
Storm Front, Book 1 of The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
Fool Moon, Book 2 of The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

Currently Reading:
Grave Peril, Book 3 of The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
Summer Knight, Book 4 of The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Congratulate me again!

It's a ... NIECE!
Elle Jane

born Monday, March 31, 2008

This kid already is hooked up with the website and photos. Check her out at:

Congratulate me!

Mr. and Mrs. Payr Entel Unjits of RomanticWmtc, Connecticut, are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Auntie Nettie, to, H.F. Onlenos, of Cloud 9, Siargao Island, the Philippines. A wedding is scheduled when the temperature in Hell, Michigan is considerably less temperate.

Ms. Nettie, known by her honorific, is best known for her antics, crochet creations, and biting blog humor. She is currently employed by many musical institutions and has her own business. Mr. Onlenos (pronounced Only-knows), goes by his nickname "G--", has many higher degrees, has traveled and published extensively, and has many diverse interests. He is a surfer in the Philipines, and is also a skilled mechanic. In fact, it was the later skill that brought the couple together. The affianced couple are planning to reside everywhere and anywhere, but mostly in Heaven-on-Earth, a private island far far away.