Saturday, December 31, 2016

Quote of the Day: Another Year

I have been flipping through my crafting journal, and other abandoned such lists from this year of ... well, to be honest, I'm still searching for the correct series of adjectives.

In my crafting journal I have simply decided to call 2016: The Lost Year.


Here comes another one.

God help us all.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Poem of the Day: Twas the diet after Christmas

In bottom of a drawer that used to be my drawer, in the the back of a desk that used to be my desk, in an office that used to be my office, was found a pile of random documents, including this funny poem on the back of a sheet from the fax machine ... from 1999.

[Yes, I cleaned out that desk before it wasn't mine anymore. Yes, other people had too. We just hadn't taken the drawer out of the desk, disassembled the desk, turned the desk literally upside down, and removed the desk parts from the office.]

"Hey wait!" she said, as the pile of random papers was about to be discarded or refiled, or shredded, "I think .... I think I typed that one sheet right there. It certainly looks like a font I would've used. Can I have it back?"

Please enjoy this blast from the past. Maybe it will resurface in another 15-20 years or so.

Twas the diet after Christmas

Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house
Nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.

The cookies I'd nibbled, the eggnog I'd taste
At the holiday parties had gone to my waist.

When I got on the scales there arose such a number!
When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber.)

I'd remember the marvelous meals I'd prepared;
The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared,

The wine and the rum balls, the bread and the cheese
And the way I'd never said, "No thank you, please."

As I dressed myself in my husband's old shirt
And prepared once again to do battle with dirt --

I said to myself, as I only can
"You can't spend the winter disguised as a man!"

So away with the last of the sour cream dip,
Get rid of the fruit cake, every cracker and chip

Every last bit of food that I like must be banished
'Til all the additional ounces have vanished.

I won't have a cookie - not even a lick.
I'll want only to chew on a long celery stick.

I won't have hot biscuits, or corn bread, or pie,
I'll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.

I'm hungry, I'm lonesome, and life is a bore --
But isn't that what January is for?

Unable to giggle, no longer a riot.
Happy New Year to all and to all a good diet!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas 2016!

Peace be unto you and yours during this Holy Holiday season. 

courtesy of Caramoor's Rosen House collection, as taken by me.

~photo by iPhone

Friday, December 23, 2016

Looking for Christmas Magic!

Sarah and Drew wish you all find the magic of the Christmas Season.

Photo by their mother, Kelli, used without permission -- SORRY KELLI!
I mean, doesn't that look like a Rockwell picture? It's amazing what a iPhone camera and some filters will do.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Friday, December 16, 2016

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Photo of the Day: Framing Fiery Fronds

When you are running around, from one building to another, before the snows fall and the hues bleach to grey, sometimes you see things in an ochre light and just the right frame of mind.

~ photo by iPhone

Friday, December 2, 2016

Photo of the Day: Spot the Color

These daisies: "Never give up! Never surrender!" "We don't care if it's December. We are going to brighten up this flower bed, even if everything else has died!" "Oh hey! Did you notice over here in the corner?"

Me: "Yes, I did!"

Moral of the story: Spot the little things. And share them.


~photo by iPhone

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Photo of the Day: Time Flies

Over Vegas, heading back to NYC
Very late Vegas Time / Very early New York Time

Vacation passes too quickly.
Also, this year flew by.

Which is good, because this year has been ...

~photo by iPhone 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Photo of the Day: Big Sky Perspective

It's been ... a rough few months.

Maybe ... just maybe ....
the clouds are parting?

Spotted while waiting for my train.

~ photo by iPhone

Monday, March 7, 2016

Quote of the Day: Introvert by Rupi Kaur

Work lately ....

Let's just say, I may not have been handling it all very well.

Thank you Twitter, from whence I found this ..

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Photo of the Day: Survival of the Species Snark

If you MUST put one of these family decals on your car, make it this one.

Wait for ittttttt......

~ photos by iPhone

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Photo of the Day: Light at the End of the ...

February is almost over.
Deadlines are looming.

Maybe the end is in sight?

Or am I just being blinded by all the staring at computer and screens.

~ photos by iPhone

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Photos of the Day: Negative Impressions

Something about this path is just a little off...

 Sometimes looking at things when the "normal" is reversed helps reveal a new perspective.

Spotted on the back way into work.

~ photos by iPhone

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Current Mood: February, Hating Thereof

From here
Make it one of these 
and we can commiserate.

from here

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Current Mood: February, Hating Thereof

Image from Zazzle.

Every year I think I'll make it through this month.
Every year, at some point, indubitably, I will force ably be reminded:


Can't we just skip it?

“Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.”

~ Stieg Larsson 


(Just imagine that I'm wearing a thermal undershirt emblazoned with this image, for the whole month.)

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Annual (?) Epic Brunch - January 31, 2015

January 31, 2015 horoscopes:


Even though it's the weekend, you still have to deal with some fiscal matters and other responsibilities. If you feel like you don't have a moment to yourself, decide which things must get done and which you'd like to do, but aren't high priority. Also, it's important to make some time for loved ones.

Don't let other people hurry you along this weekend. Keep moving ahead at your own sweet pace and everything that has to get done will get done. More importantly, it will get done correctly. Someone has to keep standards high.**

Yes, even though I have other responsibilities, I have/had decided that there are things that I have to do and they involve the high priority of making time to see friends - because it's been/had been far too many months.

One of the best parts of meeting up with friends for brunch is spending time catching up. The worst parts of meeting up with friends for brunch is that every other group of friends in NYC wants to do the same thing at the same time. Restaurants get loud. There are lines of people waiting for your table. The restaurants want to turn over the table. You don't get to really linger. Also, NYC is WAY too small - you inevitably can't do the venting you need to because someone is around, you fear someone is around, and/or you have to rush around to go on to your next appointment of the day. Because there are inevitably multiple appointments of the day, even if it's a weekend day.


Unless your friend has a rare thing: an apartment with a huge kitchen with room for people to sit at a table that will fit up to 6, so you can spread out and chat. 
Unless she offers it up as a meeting place - AND offers to cook, so you make it a pot-luck gathering.
Unless you have a mutual assurance pact in place that you have all blocked off at least 3 or 4 hours to really linger, talk, and delve deep.

This was this kind of rare brunch with Ruyi and Matt - at Ruyi's Upper East Side walk-up. 
(Can I just note, her actual cooking/counter-space is just as limited as mine - and not anywhere like all those "standard" kitchens shown on HGTV, and yet, look what we produced.)
Ruyi made some kind of buck-wheat crepes (from scratch), as well as a shrimp alfredo (from scratch) - with Matt's able sous chef assistance. (Smart. Matt's done some culinary school.) We all come from different culinary backgrounds, so you never know what all we'll bring, but somehow it all coalesces into a perfect NYC brunch.

She put me to work assembling these yogurt trifle parfaits, (thank you, years of party prep from Caramoor and hours of FoodNetwork/Cooking Channel),
 as well as making up and tossing a side salad, assembling the salmon crostini, and putting out other "apps" like the spicy nuts and sweet rugelach I had brought, and the rest of the fruit and beverages.

 What a pretty table. 
What a yummy meal.
 What a nice thing NOT to be rushed, or stressing over orders or finances.
 Cheers to good company. 
Cheers to the chef(s). 
Pass the shrimp while it's hot. 
Let's eat!

It was really good to sit and talk. After working together at the Big J, Matt is/was the only still working there. We're all heading in different directions, so being able to connect over food, get to talk about challenges/goals, and then get to talk to Ruyi's sister about the same, AND play with Ruyi's cat ... It was a really great afternoon.

And unfortunately - it took us a WHOLE year to get our schedules to coordinate to do any kind of gathering again.

I was all nice and relaxed - but then I made a strategic error of trying to grocery shop at an UES Fairway, the weekend before the SuperSportsBallCupThingy. The line to check-out literally snaked all the around the store and out the door. By that point, (an hour in?), I was committed. NEVER AGAIN!

** This is actually evergreen advice, no matter the year. Maybe I can get it put on a needlepoint or tattooed on the inside of my arm so I always see it.

~ photos by iTouch

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Annual (?) Epic Brunch 2016 Edition

What a difference a week makes. 
Last Saturday was a Blizzard - yes, with a capital B!
What a beautiful Blue sky.

It took months of scheduling but I was heading into NYC to my OTHER Upper West Side 'hood, near the former Mannes Library building, for brunch with Matt and Ruyi, friends from the Big J years. We're all over the place these days - geographically in NY and professionally, so we rotate neighborhoods for brunches. 

In previous years, we've had crepes on the Upper East Side, brunched at Sarabeth's on the Upper West Side, and brunched at home on the Upper East Side (see future post). Somehow though, I haven't persuaded them to come North to Westchester or to Caramoor/Katonah. ONE OF THESE DAYS! It is TIME.

I can't quite do justice in describing the hipster vibe of the southern pickle, biscuit, booze, and chicken place that is set in the middle of the Upper West Side, looking lost - as if it should be in Brooklyn. Even at 10:30, there was a line spilling out onto the street. Waiting list parties were paged by texts, hung out in front of wall freezers full of citrus and bottles of hand squeezed juices, and started drinking before they got to sit down.

Brunch portions were ... LARGE.
Fried - Artisanally, of course ...
with Beverages for the Boozy Folks and Bills Served in Mason Jars...
served by Waitstaff in Beanies, Man Buns, or BMIs that were too too low.

Ya'll -- Fried Pickles are good.
Fried anything is good.

I think this is Matt's Sausage Gravy Smothered Fried Buttermilk Fried Chicken Biscuit Sandwich with a side of Cheesy Grits.
Ruyi's introduction to America's Southern cuisine, Biscuits and Gravy: Biscuits and Mushroom Gray with Scrambled Eggs
And - can we just talk about this Southern BLT?
I'll break it down for you - because that's how I had to attempt to eat this 8 inch tall "sandwich":

Nitrate Free Bacon
2 Panko-Encrusted Fried Green Tomatoes
Pickle Slaw (mostly coleslaw)
A Buttermilk Fried Chicken Breast
a Biscuit
with a 
Side of Cheesy Grits

As we were being served, three different people (dudes, mostly), were asking me - WHAT IS THAT?

What is was, was a way to measure the pretention and hipster levels of my pretentious hipster brunch location aka HIGHER than this no-need to eat for the rest of the day meal. I didn't finish all the biscuit, slaw, OR grits. Or eat, for the rest of the day.

Also, to note - of COURSE we all took pictures and Instagrammed/Tweeted them. I think the fine print of the menu told us we had to, to tag the restaurant, to #hashtag the meal, and to Yelp it. I am POINTEDLY NOT mentioning the name of the restaurant, or a bunch of that other stuff. NO!

After brunch, on the way back to Grand Central, Ruyi and I looked back fondly at our time at Lincoln Center, 
 HEY! We worked near there!
 We were those goobers in the subway taking funny photos. Sorry locals. 

(Though to be fair, I looked enough like a local that I had two different people ask me for directions on my way to brunch. What is it about my face that says, Ask me for directions? -- Is the "L" on my forehead for "Librarian" flashing and I don't know it? I did help them out, however.)

I miss these characters. We need another meet-up soon. We didn't get to spend as long as we needed to catch up. Not like last year.

Artwork is part of Arts for Transit installations throughout the City:
This station has an artwork installed in 1989 entitled Westside Views by Nitza Tufiño. The artists are students of Manhattan Community Board 7 and the Grosvernor House. Scenes include 72nd Street, medians on Broadway, FDNY, kids at play, Ida Straus memorial in Straus Park, boats at the 79th Street Boat Basin, New York Buddhist Church Street vendors, and a New York City Bus. A poem entitled West Side Views by student Pedro Pieti is also featured.

per Wikipedia 

~ photos by iPhone

Photos of the Day: Snow Cap'd - January 30, 2015

Caramoor's Greenhouses
January 30, 2015

~photos by iTouch

Friday, January 29, 2016

Photos of the Day: Not the Hot Seat - January 29, 2015

 What a difference a season
and a snowstorm makes
Usually these seats are hot property
The Spanish Courtyard
Rosen House
January 29, 2015

~photos by iTouch

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Photo of the Day: Sunset Signs of Hope

The days are getting longer.
If you catch an earlier train, and remember to look up,
you'll catch sight of some fiery ribbons of light.

~ photo by iPhone

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Photo of the Day: Current Mood Masks

Imagine if we could actually wear actual masks to work, 
and not have to pretend with our faces and/or body language?

I would wear this guy A LOT!

Do you think people would leave me alone to do my work 


Spotted, in the Education Center at Work last fall, when I was staying over ...
Along, with you know, a random accordion.


Imagine if I could wear an accordion around all the time
and play myself a soundtrack.


~ photos by iTouch