Friday, August 31, 2007

Top Chat

So, I've had this feeling for a while now. I thought it may happen with the move to NY, but I was pleasantly surprised to have it happen right here at home in West Palm Beach. I've had a sneaking suspicion that a celebrity sighting was in my near future.

And it happened today!

I am a huge Top Chef fan. In fact, I could probably state that it has been my favourite show for about three years now (though Project Runway may be able to shoulder it's way into first place, especially if it was wearing 80s shoulder pads which I hear are making a re-entrance in the fashion world - ugh).

I was driving down South Olive looking for the tax collector's building so I could get my "filing late" homesteading paperwork.
An Aside: Big thanks to Mr. Government Worker who totally duped me by asking me to take a number when there was NOBODY in the office. Your poker face is stellar. You were a champ and a peach for pushing the whole paper process through in one swell foop rather than having to return three times with signed papers. Love you, Presh!
So, back to my celebrity moment. There I was, crossing Clematis on South Olive and one-a-dub-a-trip-a take...who do I see standing in the doorway of an empty storefront space but...

Stephen Asprinio (Sommelier-Man) from Season 1! An ensuing heyyyyyyyy emitted from my mouth and I drove on thinking that was it.

Park. Paperwork. Smile at Mr. Government Worker. Back to car, no ticket, big relief.

Self, I think to myself...why not just do another drive-by down the impossibly-complicated-with-construction, one-way streets and see if that really was Mr. Wine? Okay I say to myself, and off we go. So I do the second swing by and Goddammit Minerva, parking goddess to us all, there's a space in front of the store. Well, that's a bit of fate, no?

Park. Get a little nervous. Ask self if I'm being slightly retarded and stalker-y. Decide, no it's fine and move forward.

I peek around the corner and there he is, in this huge empty space with nothing around him but steel girders and a gaggle of contractors, pretending he's sitting down at the hostess station, telling his guys that he wants the hostess to be comfortable or something and that he doesn't want her to have to be awkward on getting up to greet people when she comes out from behind her station. (I got all that in about .2 seconds of conversation and body language.) Anyway, I stood there for a bit as everyone had their backs to the door and one of the contractors noticed me and asked if he could help. I said, and I think my voice got significantly quieter and I kept speaking, "I'd just like to speak to Stephen if I could." Hearing his name (just barely, I'm sure), he turned around and said hello. I told him through this dufey smile that I was a big fan of Top Chef and that I thought his food was beautiful. He was leaning wayyy in by this time because at this point I was speaking like the Low Talker on Seinfeld. I asked if he had a restaurant where I could actually taste the food and he stepped back and made a grand gesture to the open framed in space behind him, as if to say "This is going to be my restaurant." And I asked if he had others and he said he did in L.A. I think I said something like, "Well, I'm really pleased that I"ll be able to eat your food and I can't wait until your place is open" but I'm not really sure I said just that because even I couldn't hear my own voice by then. Then he asked my name, which was, while very normal, very nice of him, because he was obviously busy, and I told him my name, and then he introduced himself. Thank Pete I wasn't goofy enough to stutter "I know, I watch you on TV!!" *guh* So that was it. I said thanks and was out!

And then I giggled like a schoolgirl all the way back to the office. tee hee

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Chuffed to Conkers

Has anyone else heard of this expression? My Pops said it the other day, after he'd figured something HUGE out at work. He expressed that he was "chuffed, really, really chuffed." He was grinning as he said it. The smile threw me off. My ears and eyes were getting drastically different messages.

Ears: Oooh, he said chuffed (whateverthehellthatmeans)...he must be pissed.

Eyes: Pops is smiling his "apple cheeks" smile...he must be really pleased.

Turns out Eyes were right.

Then we had them over for dinner and were talking about childhood games. The conversation turned to Conkers - some shit about drilling a hole in a chestnut "acorn" and stringing a piece of twine though it to make a weapon. Well, not exactly a weapon, but a device that they would then hit each others' conkers with to see whose would crack into a million bits first, thus losing.


Whatever, everyone was poor then - it was the war.

So the conversation progressed and Pops reminisced about how as kids in the 50s in England, they'd used the expression "chuffed to conkers." Chuffed to conkers...chuffed to conkers.

Took me a while, but I finally got it. Thrilled to pieces! Cool. This is going to be my new catch phrase.

Today I was chuffed to conkers seeing the expression on my Subway guy's face when I ordered this way: "I'd like a foot long chicken bacon ranch on Parmesan white bread with extra cheese tomato lettuce light on the ranch dressing and a six inch seafood with with all the vegetables pepper vinegar and just so you know there is a roach crawling on the wall behind you oh look it's going behind the microwave and it's back out hey yeah look right there...behind you dude."


To Conkers.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Oh, Hi

So I haven't visited in a while - nearly a week to be exact. I think I needed to come down from my high, my New York State of Mind, my Big Apple Snapple.

Actually, being home is pretty lovely too.

Just getting back into the rhythm of working in the office (not a desk in the corner of an apartment), of a really superfire fast Internet connection (not stolen kinda slow wireless from upstairs), of sarcasm and laughter throughout the day with E (not mumbling to myself or the cast of Passions). So yeah, good to be home folks.

The Rents are coming to join the party on the next visit, so I hope the airbed shows up on time. I hear hardwood floors are really, well, hard. Also, note to self, return sheer living room curtains to JC Penny (ps A - what was I thinking buying sheers to conceal the visitors sleeping on the floor from the students at Brooklyn Tech, ps B - JC Penny rocks the house when it comes to window treatments people, cute and cheap!).

So, I'm making a promise to pay better attention to what is going on around me so that I may grace your eyes with something more amusing than my blah blah blah on regular life. That, or your going to have to wait until September for the next set of Northern Antics.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Notes To Self

  • don't take a modern class after five years of no dance classes whatsoever
  • don't take the entire class, grande allegro included (for those who don't do dance speak, this means the last half hour where all you do is jump and eat up the space (with a knee injury and oh did I mention not taking class in like 5 years?)
  • don't go to Moe's bar and take Barishnikov's advice to drink vodka post dance class as it it supposedly "good for the muscles" (which were quivering like jellyfish during the last hour of class BTW)
  • don't have three shots of Vanilla Stoli with a coke chaser (two would've done you just fine on a Thursday night)
  • make sure you chat with John The Inspiring K Through 5 Phys Ed Teacher
  • don't toddle home and decide to warm up left overs and run a bath at the same time
  • have the good sense to turn off the flame on the food - check
  • get in hot bath and stretch (thanks Cyndi for the sage advice)
  • don't drop the Ipod stereo remote control in the bath
  • don't try to call husband in bath while you worry about dropping yet another electonic device in the hot water
  • remember to stretch Babushka, stretch
  • make sure to drain tub - check, remove glass of water (evidence of sobering up) and reheat food because you truly, reeeeally need it to be be a functioning adult tomorrow morning
  • get in bed before husband comes home from business dinner in Manhattan, act like everything is normal
  • avoid headache in the am by remembering to take Advil before crashing
  • above all: pay mucho attentione to spellcheck
  • Say goodnight Gracie
  • Goodnight Gracie!

Suck It, DTV

HAHAHAHHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAA! Victory is mine you effers.

Today is Thursday

- I FIXED THE TV! Me! I attached the new box, I did all the setting up BS, I activated it and I have enjoyed watching it ALL DAY.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What's Lower Than A Lowlight?

It's just so ridiculous that I'm beyond caring and I'm just purely entertained now. Last installment had us waiting for Tuesday's appointment wherein the "specialist" would come and fill the holes on the wall after removing the bracket. Arrangements for a box to be FedExed were made, however, My Guy organizes for the "specialist" to bring another box and install that when he's here hole-filling. Ready? Here we go.


- got an email confirmation that we were getting serviced today, however, it didn't say what service...
- called to confirm that we were having the proper service
- proper service confirmed, be ready to receive said service between 8 and 12.


-periodically looking up at clock on stove...hello 8:30, ooh almost didn't see you there 9:15, goodbye 10:20, whacha doin' 11:45, hey lookitthatit's 12:35, maybe I should call since its 1:15, fuck it, I'm busy
- okay so now it's 2:15
- call ensues, prepared to rant
- decides not to rant but to ask the service expert if they think what we're going though is a bit ridiculous...or is this normal?
- service expert, aka Steve, who is delightful and can take shit like the best of them, becomes my buddy
- Steve asks if he can put me on hold for just two minutes while he sorts this out with his supervisor
- Steve returns chuckling a bit (we're old friends by now) saying that we did in fact have an appointment scheduled, just on a day that doesn't exist. It was marked down for 9/9/99.


- *guh*

- Steve organizes to shut off our service at midnight (so we don't have to pay for what we can't see and haven't seen for the past week) and reschedules the appointment and service for our return date in September

Today is Wednesday

- just to confirm that our service was indeed suspended at midnight, I turn on the TV to discover that the DTV is still coming to our broken-turning-off-every-twenty-seconds box
- I don't even have the energy to call
- thirty minutes later the FedEx dude shows up with a bright shiny new box
- I don't even have the energy to tell him to take it back we don't want it we're getting a new one later and it's coming with a guy who can actually install it


- its 5:23 pm, and we still have service
- question: do we torture ourselves and try to install the new box by ourselves tonight?
- bet: if we do get it installed properly and everything is working, what's the over/under on our service getting cut off tonight at midnight?!

Monday, August 20, 2007

DirectTV Highlights...make that LOWLIGHTS


- got an appointment for a dish to be installed
- "technician" arrives with flunky running two hours late
- "technician" is shown to roof where tenant (me) states implicitly that the dish but be on the right side of the roof (ours) and not the left side of the roof (the neighbours)
- "technician" nods and proceeds to the left side of the building
- tenant reiterates and says right, not left
- tenant ignored
- tenant meets neighbour who has come up to the roof to "water her plants" and overhears conversation about right side left side
- "technician" finally acknowledges tenant in the "must on be on this side of the building" plea
- "technician" points to placement of dish
- tenant says great
- tenant goes downstairs to makeshift office and proceeds to work for two hours while "technician" and flunky run up and down the stairs
- hours later, work is done, cokes are handed out, sweaty workers leave after getting a 20 buck tip


- phone call from husband: "Umm, why is the neighbour calling me saying the dish is on her side?"
- Me: "WHAT!?!?!?!"


- dish not only on neighbour's side, but (wait for it...) attached to the wrong building!
- call made, rant ensues, offer to fix with charge, 2nd rant ensues, gets a free of charge appointment for Monday
- tenant goes to neighbour with bottle of red wine peace/apology offering
- sweet, sweet neighbour says no problem, I heard you saying which side it needed to be on, not your fault...never mind the wine, not necessary, in fact you go and open it right now and drink
it - you look like you could use it

Today is Monday

- different "technician" shows up, no uniform, just a tool belt
- "technician" informs tenant that the paper says relocation - meaning box relocation, not dish relocation, "otherwise, Ma'am, you see, the paper would have said, dish relocation"
- has to return to office for dish relocation tools
- tenant tells "technician" that this has to be removed (pointing to dish apparatus) and moved (walks to her side of the roof) to here (pointing at location that is non-negotiable)
- "technician" disappears twice during the day (tenant checks the roof periodically, looks like work progressing at a snail's pace, but in the correct location)
- "technician" can't find black cable, has to return with it
- "technician" returns with black cable and flunky (also a different one)
- Flunky turns out to be expert, sets up TV and declares box to be defective when it shorts out every two minutes
- Flunky/Expert orders new box for tenant, tenant lucky to see box arrive via FedEx by Friday when she flies out

- phone call from husband: "How's it going? Are they done?"
- tenant tells husband about box problem
- husband asks if tenant checked the roof to make sure all is well


- retarded tenant let the guys go without checking the roof
- retarded tenant runs up the stairs with fear in heart
- retarded tenant looks around corner to see if dish in correct place, breathes sigh of relief when sees all is well
- until (wait for it...) she looks at old location and sees the 8 inch bolting apparatus still stuck to the neighbours building.


- call made, rant ensues, "specialist" ordered for tomorrow to remove bolt and caulk holes in building

I can't wait to see how smoothly this goes tomorrow...

Friday, August 17, 2007

This is for Whiskey...

For all the wedding anniversaries that I missed, this one's for you two. It includes Sweaty Vegas Elvis and the Love Child in a duet (and I have to say, I quite like it).

Pea Soup

The picture below is of people in a wave pool at Tokyo Summerland.

How many people do you suppose get tossed out of this puppy when it gets its wave on?
The originating article asked, "How much pee do you think is in this pool?"

Thursday, August 16, 2007

No Sleep Till Brooklyn!!

I am in heaven. How much do I love it here? Ask me. ASK ME!! These past two days, I've been roaming streets, eavesdropping, and puttering in a new and empty home, wishing I had a pad and pen with me at all times (lesson learned, hello) so I could share the perfections that have been life. Snippets in Target, bits in coffee shops, shared moments at "home."

The good morning I got from an old man with a cane, discovering that 40 Acres and a Mule is on my street, the shout outs between box store aisles, the surly Korean grocer, the slate sidewalks, the saxophone I can hear outside of our window, the walk of shame I heard at four this morning. All of it...I Love It All!

Here is a pic of our first night...I really wanted to eat Chinese, out of the box, wth chopsticks, sitting on the floor - but the surly Korean grocer said there was no good Chinese in the neighbourhood, so pizza it was.

And heaven it was as well.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Bon Festival

It was a lovely (muggy) beautiful (crowded) entertaining (bug infested) evening. My Guy was so impressed with the place that he wanted to come back, but only when half of South Florida decided to leave the fair grounds. Who knew that so many Floridians were interested in Japanese culture? Other than the sushi place in Pineapple Grove, it's pretty much ignored here.

So we entered, armed with Skin So Soft. (That was the best idea of the night. Thank you Ray's pants for having pockets big enough to stash the bottle) (Thank you bottle for not leaking on Ray's new cargos) (No thanks to knit halter top for jumping out at me in my closet earlier that day. What in the Hot as Helios was I thinking?)

The Taiko drums were blaring, but we didn't panic, there was another showing at 8:30. We immediately went to buy the lanterns that were placed on the water at dusk and floated out onto the lake, honoring the dead. They were sold out, but very thoughtfully offered pieces of paper to write a name and message on that we could then fold up and place in the community boat that was to be floated out with the lit singletons. We bought one for Michael and Mom did one for her parents and aunt and uncle.

Drink and food was next on the priority list - in that order. It was so hot out (heat index of 106 degrees) that we decided not to drink alcohol as dehydration probably would have killed us inside of three minutes in the crowded oven we were calling the Food Fair. We stood in line for two minutes (I know it doesn't sound long but it is...remember...106 degrees - no breeze) and found out at the front that we needed tickets. Grr. Off to the equally long line for tix. Back to the Lemonade Stand. Freshly squeezed, yes. Full of ice and not much liquid, yes. Asked for light ice and immediately regretted drinking warmade for the next five minutes, yes. Came with a decorative half squeezed lemon, yes. Removed when found circle of mold on said half rind, yes. Immediately saw that lemon was taking up half the volume of the drink, yes. Felt cheated for a half glass of three dollar lemon water, check.

No worries! On to the food!

Oh, look. Another long line.

Teriyaki, Yakitori, Soba Noodles. Hot food, hot food, aaaannnnndddd hot food. Hmm, no light and delightful sushi. In retrospect, a brilliant idea not to tempt fate by poisoning half of Florida with heated, ptomaine-laced, raw fish. Those poor bastards behind the woks were sweating like whores in church. So we had the beef teriyaki, not bad at all. And a pant-load of food for six bucks...err, I mean, tickets.

Off to the dance pavilion to watch the traditional gardening dance and fisherman dance (the only difference between the two line dances was the "hoeing" action and the "reeling in the net" action. That held our attention for all of seven minutes. We needed a break from the heat and went inside the awesome museum section. Coolth (Mom's word) and art. Those two things go together very nicely, indeed. Loved the stuff we saw in there, however, no cameras allowed. Not good for the 700 hundred year old scrolls and such.

Back outside to see the last Taiko drum performance. So. Amazing. The sound really does just jump from organ to organ in your chest. I didn't even mind the toad that jumped in my purse - big loves to My Guy for removing that warty creature.

It was dark by then and the lanterns were launched. It was really tranquil; there was quiet, Zen-like music in the background and everyone had a reverent feeling about them. It was crowded, but space was respected. I wish the pictures could have done the moment more justice, but you all have imaginations.

The fireworks show was going to start in ten minutes and My Guy, looking only slightly sheepish, said to us, "Fireworks next, huh? Ummm....we've all seen fireworks before right? Flashes in the sky, the oohs, the ahhs. Yeah. Do, umm, we need to, you know, see them again?" Both Mom and I fought to say it first.


HAHAHA! It was nice, but clearly, we'd all had enough. That, and we were parked at the waaaaayback of the lot. We darted out of there, dropped off Mom at home and headed to Sushi Jo for cold sake, the sashimi appetizer and air-conditioning, blessed air-conditioning. The evening ended perfectly.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Bon Festival

I am off to this tonight with Mom and My Guy. Looking forward to the Taiko Drums and the fireworks. Oh, and the sushi, sushi, sushi! Got my comfy shoes and an empty stomach. I am set! Pictures to come...

Me, My Shoes and Guy

I'm not really sure what was going on here at this point. Thursday night is a bit of a blur for me...

Feel free to make up your own story.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Take That You Three Fingered Beyotch!

I have just learned that my youngest niece assaulted Mickey Mouse. They were in Disney for a few days and they went to an event called Tea With Mickey. Apparently, Cassady didn't want no mouse tea.

He approached her arms stretched wide ready, anticipating a squealed, "Mickey!" and a hug. Know what he got? A good old fashioned hand slapping a la Granny on The Beverly Hillbillies.

Now, I would expect this kind of behaviour from this version of Cassady:

But not from this version, which was the one that did it two days ago!

I love it - this chick's not going to take crap from anyone.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


I wanted to share a little more of the Mank since she is old and moping around the house being crotchety - in other words, I think her time on this planet may be short.

Or she may surprise us all and be FrankenCat for the rest of our lives.

She may in fact roam the earth forevermore looking like the dope (gangsta') dope (idiot) that she is...

Yes, that is her tongue hanging out...see? Come closer...


She looks a little Simpsonian here, doesn't she?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Things That Are Cute

We have an assortment today of things that are cute:

The always adorable, Baby In A Box (No Justin Timberlake jokes here, please...)

The Squishy-Hearted Husband Who Likes To Spoon The Cat

If you can't get enough of this one, the Management has provided a close up

Tipsy Chicks: Four of the Cutest Party Wannabeers on a Slightly Quieter Than Wanted Ladies Night

E is half winking, I'm just happy to be out, G wasn't happy with her hair so she shook it out and made me take another (see below), and Dee Dee is telepathically telling the Bartender (see also below) that she is not interested no matter how many free drinks you give me.

Shaken, not Stirred

I think John the Bartender may have received Dee Dee's mental message...

Let me ask...if you were single, would you hit it?


My back is jacked up right under my ribs and I think the little bugger has decided to go on a road trip to visit my neck. Leaning back in the old office chair has become a thing of More Comfortable Days. I'm about two inches from my screen right now. I should probably go since I'll be needing to see the eye doctor for a new prescription shortly.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Talk To Me

I want to know that all my Minneapolis buddies are safe and sound. Let me hear from you, people.