Random Thoughts for Today

- I hope this weekend's weather report is wrong -- I really need a good beach weekend.  If not, I suppose I'll get a relaxing getaway weekend nonetheless.
- I like packing for trips, but am always afraid I'll forget something important.
- I'm enjoying Top Chef Masters, although the judges are much nicer to the contestants than on regular Top Chef.
- I still love doing interviews but hate transcribing them.
- I'm very bad at estimating how much pasta to cook, but that always means good leftovers.
- I already need a nap.
- I still wish I could work from bed, especially on a crappy raining day like today.  Easier for naps.

It's A Bird, It's a Frog, It's . . .

Underdog Every day on my way to work I pass a billboard on the side of a phone booth for the movie version of Underdog.  What this means is that the theme song (which I absolutely love) is stuck in my head for at least an hour -- or until Hold the Line pops back into it.  If you haven't listened to it in a while, I highly recommend it.  And you might want to check out the a cappella version from Scrubs.

Weekend Wrapup

Started off the weekend with a farewell party for Teddi, who's moving off to Seattle for 6 months.  As much as we all want Teddi to be happy, we selfishly want her to hate Seattle so that she'll come back to NYC.  I'm going to put her in touch with Geek and his family, who are living out there and can keep her company and show her around.  After that I went to see Neko Case with Doug.  I hadn't seen her before and neither of the people who had promised me a CD came through, but despite that, I enjoyed the show (and still would love a CD).  Following the show, we went to Cafe Grey for a drink and a snack.  We got extravagant and ordered a foie gras crostini, which literally took 45 minutes to come out after we had placed our order.  The bartender comped it, which was generous, and really the best way to handle the ridiculous delay.  After that, off to Otto for a nightcap with Roopa.

Saturday I spent some time purging papers and whatnot (the continuation of a process of purging paper, clothes, and other crap living in the back of my closets), had a great workout, and then headed to Rob's for raclette (a.k.a. melted cheese-fest).  After a major cheese overdose, I slept like a baby.  Woke up Sunday to draft a post on Gothamist (only to be trashed by our lovely commenters, who seem to have nothing better to do), then read the paper, threw in a couple of loads of laundry and headed to the gym.  Met up with Jenn D. to catch up a bit, then met up with Augie, Lauren, Rob, Sara, and the little one (wearing the hat I knit for him), for dinner at Morandi.  Can't say I loved it -- the things I liked the most (fried artichokes, meatballs, gorgonzola crostini) I can get at Gusto (where Chef Jody Williams formerly worked), and it was more expensive than we expected for what we got.  I took pictures with my fancy new camera, but haven't loaded up the software on my computer yet, so haven't managed to get them off the camera yet.  Finished up the night watching the Oscars with Rob and Sara before heading off to bed.

Burgers Galore

GreenchiliburgerAfter a very long day on Friday, Jenn came over for dinner.  We shared a good bottle of wine, some olive tapenade from my night with Ted Allen, and I made what was quite possibly the worst pizza I've ever made.  I'm going to blame it on the fact that I didn't let the dough sit out at room temperature long enough, although it could have just been me.

Despite the rain on Saturday, I mangaged to go to the gym get a haircut, do some errands, watch Mean Girls, and eventually made it out to the Burger Bash.  My favorite was the green chili cheeseburger (pictured), but I also tasted the Motz burger (named after George Motz, burger documentarian), the Guber burger (with peanut butter -- odd), and the butter burger (a.k.a. coronary on a bun).  Pics are up on flickr.  I'm looking forward to visiting Water Taxi Beach on a sunny day sometime -- they've got a great view of the city!

Today I met Mom & Stephen for brunch at Prune (after the gym, of course), and I've thrown in a couple of loads of laundry, etc.  All in all, a fine weekend.  Now, a quiet night in to gear up for a hectic week.


Well, I had quite the movie-filled weekend.  I started out with the X-Men on Friday night (my first exposure to an X-Men film) for tons of action, effects, and explosions; then on to An Inconvenient Truth on Saturday, for a bit of consciousness-raising; and finishing with Keeping Up With the Steins on Sunday, to keep in touch with my heritage. 

Other highlights of the weekend included late night karaoke at Planet Rose with Manhattan Transfer and others who kept me out way past my bedtime, delicious dinner at Frankie's with Jenn (if you haven't been there yet, you should go), dinner with Mom & Stephen (I really need to have dinner parties more often), a picnic in Central Park with Erika, and shopping with Roopa.  All in all, a relaxing, well-rounded, fun holiday weekend, despite the lack of barbecues.

The Recap

While you're all still voting (I'll keep the poll open until midnight, Eastern Standard time, this Friday), I figured I should (finally) give a recap of New Year's Eve festivities and the aftermath.  I had a few party invitations which were all, unfortunately, way too far apart for comfortable party hopping, so I did the logical thing -- brought the party to me.  I ended up having a fairly last-minute small dinner party for six: me, John B., the Lovely Miss Katie, Mark, and his two friends who were in from out of town, Holly and Jenny.  I wanted to be slightly decadent for the occasion, but without making myself too nuts in the kitchen -- the menu ended up being seafood-based:  shrimp cocktail with zingy, spicy cocktail sauce from Whole Foods, seared scallops with chives and basil oil, steamed lobsters, green beans with caramelized onions, truffled mashed Yukon Gold potatoes, an arugula and radicchio salad with toasted pine nuts and pomegranate that we skipped entirely, so as to leave room for our poached pears with pear-chocolate sauce.  All in all, an elegant, yet completely sloppy meal (lobster shells were a-flyin'.  Most of us stayed around until midnight, then people went their separate ways.  I ended up at Cru, meeting Augie, Lauren, Alvin, and their crew, who generously shared a glass of '86 Penfolds Grange Hermitage and a few sips each of '86 and '75 d'Yquem.  Not a bad way to round out the evening. 

The next day was Lauren and Augie's second annual New Year's Day gathering to eat mac and cheese, watch the Big Leibowski and drink white Russians.  All was fine and good until the white Russians caught up with me (they were small, but potent as hell), and forced me to take a nap.  I had an hour in mind -- my body decided it would be three.  I woke up around 10:45 pm and couldn't fall asleep until about 3 am.  I spent a great deal of that time watching "Talk Sex with Sue," a call-in sex show on Oxygen featuring a Canadian grandmotherly woman in her sixties.  If you haven't watched it, you should, if only to admire her no-nonsense, yet healthy and sex-positive approach to her callers questions, which are all over the map.

To top off the three-day weekend, Tamara and I went to dinner at Babbo to say hello to Ken, one of the bartenders there, who we had met out at Bar Carrera last week (and then joined for karaoke at Sing Sing).  We dined at the bar, befriended a lovely couple from Malibu who invited us to come out to drink wine and go biking with them sometime (woo hoo!), and had the pleasure of sitting next to Elvis Mitchell and Quentin Tarantino for a while (they were talking about the Simpsons episodes that included Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs references).  We also ate and drank fabulously -- the highlight for me was definitely the goose liver ravioli with brown butter and balsamic.  Sheer heaven.  After that, I was ready to face the work week.

The Weekend Wrapup

After the Vendys and a whirlwind of a week, I stayed in Friday night.  I must have been exhausted because I slept for 12 hours.  Saturday I went to the gym, visited the Dosa cart, then headed up to Westchester to spend the afternoon with a group of my high school friends and their kids.  It's quite overwhelming as the one single, childless person the group, but it was great to see everyone.  The kids I had met before had gotten huge!  I've got to tell you though, there's nothing like spending an afternoon with your friends who are married and/or have kids to make you realize that there's absolutely no rush to get there.  All in due time. 

I came back to the city to spend a mellow night with my cousin Sara, who's a sophomore at Barnard.  We went to see Shopgirl (my advice is to wait for the DVD), then had a late night snack at Village Yokocho.  Every time I go there I remember how much I love it.  Late night yakitori, dumplings, and other Japanese small plate dishes.  Mmmm.  After that, I finally took my friend Brian up on his offer to come over and sing karaoke at his apartment.  Brian, who I met through my work at Gothamist (he represents cookbook authors and was with me the night I was out with the author of The Vodka Cookbook), was recently featured in an article in the NYT real estate section -- he's got a karaoke stage in his apartment.  So Sara and I headed over and sang until the wee hours of the night.  Can't wait until next time.

Today I had a delicious brunch at Augie & Lauren's and had about two minutes to breathe before heading out to Brooklyn for Katie's mom's beer stew.  Stuffed, I spent some time cleaning my apartment tonight, gave myself a quick mani/pedi, and am heading upstairs to give Augie a little blog tutorial.  After that it's a good night's sleep before my last session of boot camp.  Woo hoo!

A Full Belly

Well if I don't have the energy to write a Gothamist column tonight, the least I can do is write something over here.  I'm feeling a little sluggish after the ribs and pulled pork at Blues, BBQ and Fireworks (lunch) and macaroni and cheese (dinner), but at least I went to the gym beforehand.  Thanks to all who joined in the feasting today -- Katie, Rob, Augie, Lauren, Alvin, Debbie, Chip, and Jenn. 

The rest of the weekend involved a few trips to the outer boroughs.  After a terrific dinner at Galanga (my new favorite neighborhood Thai joint) with my aunt, bro & sis, I went off to Park Slope to drink sangria in Kim's new backyard, which was quite lovely.  We finished up with a glass or two of wine at Total Wine Bar.  Saturday I hit the farmers market in Union Square for the most luscious, ripe and fragrant berries and melon -- blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and a cantaloupe -- then Whole Foods for my favorite Greek yogurt to go with.  I'm all set for breakfast this week, that's for sure!  Then I was off to Brooklyn again for dinner at D.O.C. Wine Bar followed by performance art (dance, video, music, and whatnot) at Galapagos, followed by a trip back to Manhattan to Otto, where we wished my friend David all the best before he shipped off to Iraq today.  More on that later, but I think we gave him a perfect send-off.  And now, off to bed with a full belly, and up early to get rid of it at the gym.

On a totally unrelated side note, Life of Illusion by Joe Walsh and Heat of the Moment by Asia have both been stuck in my head since I heard them in the soundtrack for The 40-Year-Old Virgin last week.  Can't wait for that sucker to be up on iTunes.

Because I Am Tired and Lazy

I am not going to go bother with the details about my weekend.  As usual, it's really all about the food roundup, so I might as well get right down to it, starting with the amazing lunch on Friday at Aureole to send off the lovely summer associates who kept me out so late the night before.  Dinner was at Mercadito with Jenn and Emilia followed by nightcaps with Jeff, who came down from upstate and joined us late at Otto and the Stoned Crow.  Saturday was brunch with Cori at Clinton Street Baking Company (love their huevos rancheros, despite the hour-long wait), shopping, nap, workout, the 40-Year-Old Virgin, dinner at Banania Cafe and drinks at the bar down the block with Tom (no idea what that place is called -- can anyone help me out?  It's on the corner on Smith Street in Carroll Gardens).  Sunday was more shopping (I am soooo sick of my current, very limited "business casual" attire -- had to get some reinforcements), more working out, then dinner and Napoleon Dynamite with Roopa.  I will now leave you with these mouthwatering pictures from my lunch at Aureole . . .