Mmmm...

Jul. 22nd, 2011 01:30 pm
ceebeegee: (Candy pumpkins!)
Spicy mayonnaise is the nectar of the gods.
ceebeegee: (Spring!)
Last weekend I had my regular 1 pm Saturday game of softball, and then another at 6, way uptown (by 102nd Street). These are two different teams, both part of the alumni league, but there is some overlap. I started playing for the second team, affiliated with the Michigan School of Business, at the behest of someone on the first team, Cecil, who also went to the University of Chicago. (I personally went to neither Chicago NOR Michigan!) I started playing with the Chicago team last year, and they know me pretty well by now, but there is someone new on the team (at least he wasn't there last year) who is getting on my nerves. Despite having seen me in action, he treats me as though I don't know how to play, or am completely unathletic--in other words, he's either a male chauvinist or doing a good imitation of one. I will say, he is part of a cultural/ethnic group that has a reputation for being extremely chauvinistic. Two weeks ago he was playing at shortstop--every time there was a runner on first, he would explain to me how, if the ball was hit to him, he was going to throw it to me. After about the third iteration of this, I snapped at him "yes--I know how to play softball. I get it." Last week he did even worse--he was playing shortfield and came running in to field a looper. He got it and was about 20 feet away from me--instead of just throwing it, he gave me this exaggerated "baby" throw, very arched, as though I couldn't handle a real throw. Not only was this insulting, he arched it so high, it nearly went over my head! I leaped up to catch it, was barely able to do so but did, and made the catch (and the out). This being the third out, as we jogged off the field I said to him, my voice kind of shaking--I was caught between anger that he'd done such a stupid, insulting thing, and gladness that I made the out anyway--"Dude, just THROW it. I can handle it. You arched that way too high, I'm not that tall."

So this has definitely been getting on my nerves. After this game, I took a walk through the park on my way to the new Sprinkles which has just opened on the Upper East Side by Bloomingdale's. I had an adorable encounter on my way there--at the southeast corner of the park, I stopped at a hotdog stand that featured all organic meats. I ordered a turkey hotdog and the guy, who from his accent was from another country, asked me what condiments I'd like. He listed all of them and my eyes lit up when he said raw onions--I said raw onions, brown mustard and mayonnaise. He said "are you from New York City?" I said originally I'm from Virginia. He said "it is unusual for Americans to have mayonnaise on their hotdogs, very unusual." I said well, Southerners love their mayonnaise--we put it on everything. Fries, grilled cheese sandwiches, everything. (Side note--my mother puts it on SALAD. And cottage cheese. Mmm. I grew up eating cottage cheese for lunch with a dab of mayo on top.) I asked him where he was from, he said Egypt, and I said I was dying to visit there sometime. (Gotta see the only still-extant Seven Wonders of the World.) Then I mentioned that I'd spent time in Spain, including the place where mayonnaise was invented--the town of Mahon, on the island of Menorca, in the Balearic Islands. He was fascinated, and asked me exactly where so I sketched out a little map of the Iberian archipelago with my hands for him. He said he'd have to remember, so he could tell his customers. It was just such a charming New York City moment.

After THAT I went to Sprinkles (mmm, dark chocolate cupcakes...), then to church. I am pretty much incapable of getting up for the morning service, not to mention I'd have to dress up a lot more. The weekend early evening services are much better for me, and lower key--no one seems to mind that I'm in softball gear! They have a 5:20 mass on Saturdays, and an Evensong service at 5:00 on Sundays--I prefer the Saturday because Evensong is a longer, bigger deal. Also, I sang in my church choir for like thirty years, starting from the age of seven, and to me the term "Evensong" means "another precious weekend day spent all day at church!" (We had Evensong one Sunday every month, and on those days we had an 11 am service and then one later on at 5, so I spent all day in a dress. I hated this.) This week the service was in the St. Joseph Chapel, which I love--it's one of St. Mary's little side chapels, and it's so pretty and small and personal. St. Mary's really has THE most gorgeous physical facility of any non-cathedral I've ever seen.

High Altar

After church I went back uptown for Game 2. When I got there, as it turned out there weren't too many Michigan players there--we were playing against Fordham, who had plenty of players, so some of them played for us. My Chicago team also plays against Fordham and they remembered me (I typically do pushups when my team is at bat--mainly to keep my blood moving and my energy up, but also to psych 'em out ;) So we get out there, and the shortstop on my team is very good--and I can just *tell* from the way he's playing, he just assumes I'm not that good. (Example--instead of throwing the ball to me, he's running the ball over to make the play himself.) I don't take this too personally--he doesn't know me, hasn't seen me play--but it gets to me nonetheless. I'm brooding over this a bit when an awesome, once-in-a-season play happens.

We're in the field, and there are runners at first and third. The ball is hit to the third baseman, who checks the runner at third, then throws it to me at second. I make the out, see the runner at third going for home, and NAIL the ball to the catcher. Like, that ball was on a CLOTHESLINE. The catcher makes the tag. Not only is this a double-play but we saved a run! Our team goes bananas--EVERYONE, my team and theirs, was congratulating me, "oh my God, did you see that?!" Hullaballoo ad infinitum. It. Was. Awesome. The reaction went on quite a while, and of course I knew part of the reason people were so impressed was because I'm a girl. No guy who made a double-play would've gotten such a reaction--certainly the catcher and the third-baseman, who were part of it, weren't patted on the back liike this. You know what? That's the flip side of the crap I get most of the time, one small reward. Right now, I'll take the adulation, thanks ;)

*Basking*

The only thing that could've improved it if it had happened in front of the obnoxious guy on the Chicago team.
ceebeegee: (Massachusetts foliage)
I'm spending Thanksgiving with Lori and Kevin down in Tom's River--can't wait for a nice long day of fattening food and good friends. I baked two pies for the occasion:



Pumpkin



Pecan

I bake everything from scratch, including pureeing the pumpkin and making my own crust. Last night I wrote this on FB and my friend Beth Diamond wrote that she was afraid to make a pie crust. Then my friend Debbie Heartley asked for the recipe, so I posted it. Three simple ingredients--flour, salt and oil. And it makes all the difference--nothing like making it ALL from scratch!

My Mom always calls cooking a creative art and I certainly think so--one reason I love pies is because you can mix it up so, throw in all sorts of things. I get especially crazy with my pecan pies, sometimes adding bourbon, rum, chocolate, different spices, all sorts of things. Pecans are such a rich nut, they can hold their own against almost anything. Mom has a fantastic recipe for a Christmas cake that's basically a kind of fruit cake without the candied fruit--it's just a very rich cake. The recipe calls for 6 eggs! I beg her to make it every year--it's an old recipe that was handed down to her from I think her grandmother. Southern, naturally--nobody does desserts like the South!

Have a wonderful, cozy, comforting Thanksgiving, everyone! Hug your family and tell them you love them!

ceebeegee: (Massachusetts foliage)
Jason, Paula, Big Ben and I are going to Applewood Farms, where we all went a few years ago, to pick apples, taste wine, pick pumpkins, eat seasonal food and generally celebrate autumn. We are renting a car--we could possibly fit in one more (small) person (the rental page says it seats five) or if there are enough people who want to join, maybe you could get a car yourself and follow after. We will be leaving Astoria around 11-11:30.

Apples! Apple bread and applesauce and apple pie! And pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread! The best season of all!
ceebeegee: (Candy pumpkins!)
I'm making a custom Google map showing where all the good dessert/ice cream places and bakeries are. Y'all are welcome to add your suggestions, just format the info box approrpriately (i.e., brief description, hours if you can find them and a phone number).

My one confusion is that I can't seem to be able to access the map on my SmartPhone--I have installed Google Maps for Mobile on my phone, but for some reason I can't access this map--the mobile application doesn't let you keep "favorite" maps like regular Google maps does. Weird.


View The Sweet Stuff in NYC in a larger map

Mmmmm.....

Jul. 16th, 2009 10:03 pm
ceebeegee: (Default)
...I just enjoyed the most delicious, fattening-yet-nutritious dinner...salted lobster ravioli sauteed in garlic and olive oil, with parmesan cheese on top, plus a not-quite-ripe (but delicious nonetheless) avocado. SO good, SO rich...God bless Italy! (And Trader Joe's--I gotta get more of this ravioli!)

I love working out because then you can eat a-ny-thing you want afterwards.
ceebeegee: (Default)
...I am *really* feeling that workout today. The muscles just under my shoulders (I thought they were called deltoids but I looked that up and those are on top) are killing me, as are other places. Took a shower before work and it helped a bit but Calvin (trainer, HAD from Ore) says a bath with Epsom salts would be better.

Oddly, legs are not hurting at all. Abs are, though. But it's all good; no pain, no gain.

I'm considering stopping by a nail salon and getting a massage, but I think they hurt too much even for that.

The great thing about a really intense workout is that you can eat anything you want for dinner that night. Gonna be cooking up some more pasta! (I made basic--i.e., no tomato sauce--whole-wheat spaghetti last night with olive oil, garlic, turkey sausage and parmesan cheese. Mmmm...)
ceebeegee: (Xmas Tree)
Movies watched so far:

White Christmas (1.5 times--halfway through it Tuesday evening, then the whole shebang today)
It's a Wonderful Life
Mickey's Christmas Carol
Summer of Sam


Hoping for:

Holiday Inn
A Christmas Carol
(with Alistair Sim, although Reginald Owen is an acceptable alternative)

Holiday desserts so far:

Christmas cookies
no fewer than 5 Christmas puddings (I gave my mom a plum pudding, and the two of us received a gift box with four differently-flavored Christmas puddings)
Pecan pie (I made it yesterday)

Have a wonderful white Christmas, with puddings and pies and presents, and tell the people around you that you love them!

Duck Soup

Jun. 2nd, 2008 02:26 pm
ceebeegee: (CAWFEE)
Saturday I met Alex, Don, Mickey and Dani down in SoHo to eat for free at Bun Restaurant--they were promoting their upcoming switch to around-the-clock operations by having 24 hours of free food. We had a reservation for 11 but when we got there, things had gotten badly behind. We waited about 20 minutes and were finally seated, where we found out there was ONE front-of-house guy. As in, one guy to wait on all those tables and host/seat people. He was not just in the weeds, he was one with the weeds. Kind of a Zen thing. We felt really bad for him and just sat there, waiting until he had time to see to us. He brought us water and we could see him trying to deal with other irate patrons, including the table next to us who virtually stuffed him ($2 tip--on a FREE meal, bastards). We were going to order off the special menu they had for this promotion, but the guy just started bringing over platters of nummy nummy food. MAN. I have to go back to this place, the food was amazing. I looooove Vietnamese food already (it's like a lighter, fresher version of Chinese, and it has some similarities to Thai food, with the different flavors) and this stuff was amazing. They gave us a bowl of mini-egg rolls, then we all got these duck concoctions with egg on top, then some duck shish-ke-bab things. SO GOOD. I LOVE duck, it's about the only poultry I really like, it's so fatty and rich and YUMMY. Alex, Don and I ordered beers to go with all this heavy food. Asian beers are the best--they're nice and light to balance off the food, but they still have flavor. (Unlike American light beer which, as they say, is like sex in a canoe--"it's fucking close to water!") Mmmm, duck and egg rolls and Asian beer...My one regret was that I didn't see the actual menu--I was craving some Vietnamese coffee. We didn't get to try any pho either--pho is a Vietnamese specialty, it's a beef boullion noodle soup with strips of beef in it, plus a lot of other ingredients to perk it up, like basil leaves, limes and sauces.

Dan and Mickey took off, and then Alex, Don and I eventually followed (after leaving a monster tip). We tried to wait out the rain, then decided to hit a nearby bar. After sucking down a few more drinks, the rain petered out and it was almost sunny. So we walked around Chinatown for a little bit. Chinatown is one of those really neat things that makes you glad you live in NYC. It's just fascinating--I need to get down there more, I love seeing all their weird foods in the grocery store. And their shops! So many interesting things among the tourist junk. Alex mentioned the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory--I didn't even realize there was such a thing, so we went over there and got cones. Don took off to walk the Bridge and Alex had to go to rehearsal, so I walked through Little Italy (sad, barely-holding-on, irrelevant Little Italy) to go home.
ceebeegee: (Eloise in mirror)
Packing is HELL. I don't think I have enough boxes. I've been sleeping on the floor for days now and have to coax Tatiana down just to see her, since she lurks in the loft all the time. And Friday is going to be interesting--I have a full 10 hours at work, and have to "nip" up to the new building (way up in Harlem) to pick up the keys and the lease at 8 am. This means I'm getting up at 7:00 or before.

On the bright side, although I'm not living in the most exciting part of it, it'll be ncie to live in Haaarlem again. I've been checking out the 'hood on citysearch and I can't wait to hit me some M&G's again. M&G's is the real version of what Sylvia's serves up to busloads of European tourists. Tracie took me there when we lived together. And I want to try Miss Mamie's Spoonbread Too--damn, Southern food is the best. Southern, soul--it's all the same thing. Heart attack on a plate--deep fry that baby. With a side of mayonnaise! Yee haw!
ceebeegee: (Default)
I had a good weekend. Mike came over Sunday and we hung out at Deacon Brodie's, drankin'. We had some really nice conversation--I really enjoyed the whole evening. When we finally left it was almost 2 am so Mike stayed at my place and slept on the futon, being stalked by Tiberius the Fewocious. The next day I was unexpectedly energized and actually got quite a lot done. After having coffee with a friend, I went to the pet store and bought some Pounce treats (I have trained Tibby to do the most adorable trick--I shake the canister, he comes running, and then I hold a treat out and he stands on his hind legs and reaches out with his little paws to hold my hand in them like a baby with a bottle, and then takes the treat with his mouth. I cannot stand how adorable it is. I will post pictures). I also bought this device that you plug into an outlet and it emits cat pheromones that help control aggressive behavior. I got it to try to resolve the Tibby-Tatia problem. Kitty detente--give peace a chance. Then I stopped by a new clothing store in the neighborhood called Coup de Coeur on 9th Avenue--they were having a "blowout sale" so I was able to get a lovely sherbet colored lambswool sweater for very little.

Then I had a bite to eat with a friend, way down at a place called 11 Madison Park. It's a Danny Myers restaurant and they have this unbelievable tarte flambee pastry, all puff pastry and cream and kielbasa and pepperoni. My mouth was dreaming and didn't want to wake up, that's how delicious it was. The best way to experience these great restaurants is to sit at the bar--there's no pressure to order an expensive entree and you can just have an app and dessert, which is what we did. I also got the chocolate-peanut butter tarte (I felt this strange compulsion to all these luridly named items) which was peanut butter ice cream covered with a chocolate frosting and crushed butterfingers on tops, then topped with a caramelized tapioca sauce. That was all in one dish; then there was a dish of peanut brickle, and another dish with chocolate truffles.

Good times.

Thalia

Jan. 12th, 2006 10:39 am
ceebeegee: (Me)
Last night Jason took me out to eat at a restaurant of my choice, to pay off the bet he lost to me about Star Wars. Paula joined us as well. We ate at a restaurant I've always wanted to try but never have, Thalia at the corner of 8th Avenue and 50th Street. What a delightful experience in every way--the food was fantastic, every bite. Paula and I ordered the baby spinach salad (with candied walnuts, roasted apple slices and a maple syrup vinaigrette) and the crab cake appetizers to share, and Jason got this mushroom, polenta and truffle reduction combo. Then Paula and I each ordered pumpkin crusted scallops, and I think Jason got either the halibut or the salmon. We tried to figure out what to drink with this and settled on a nice fruity white wine--I generally prefer red but if there's a white with some fruity/berryish notes to it, I like those. (I am no oenophile so bear with my utilitarian vocabulary!) For dessert we shared the chocolate tasting plate. I will say, all that rich food is a little difficult on my system right now, and I had a hard time sleeping last night but it was worth it--I had such a good time. The wine was so good, and it was wonderful spending time with my ducklings. I also loved the atmosphere--environment is a big part of my enjoyment at a restaurant, and this place had beautiful colors, all warm oranges and browns and recessed lighting and shadow boxes. I found it interesting that the restaurant "works" as an upscale environment, considering that 1) it's on 8th Avenue which can be poretty honky-tonk, because it's so close to Times Square, and 2) it's so big. But with the proper lighting and layout, you can achieve intimacy anyway. A work of design genius!

Thank you Jason!!
ceebeegee: (Massachusetts foliage)
My awesome cousin Larson visited this past week. We hung out quite a bit--Monday night he and my brother Bart had dinner, and then the two of them joined me, Duncan, Tesse, Chris, Jason, Ryan and Susan at the Bull Moose. It was wonderful being together with my brother and cousin, and Larson has the same strong sense of family that Bart and I do (as do my cousins Courtney, Ros and Colin). In fact Courtney just sent me photos of her chidlren (Courtney is quite an accomplished photographer) and I emailed her back about the visit. She wrote back "How cooool!! I miss you!!!!" Miss you right back, Courtney!

(Larson really dished the dirt too--I found out some very interesting things about the younger branches of the family. With 20+ cousins, there's always something you haven't heard yet!)

After Bull Moose, Ryan, Larson and I went to [name of bar deleted] on Restaurant Row where I ordered an appletini and Larson and Ryan ordered chocolate martinis. At one point Ryan spied a cockroach which horrified me--I get freaked out by vermin of any kind. The bar manager was awesome; he saw me dancing around and Ryan and Larson trying to spy the creature and suggested we move to another table and offered us a free round. I'm not naming the bar because I've been there before and I've never seen anything like that, they've always been very clean.

Yesterday Larson and I walked around the Village, SoHo and Chinatown, and walked down to Ground Zero as well. We sat in Washington Square Park and I told him about its history as a potter's fields, and the hanging tree--all the thpooooky stuff. We walked down Canal Street and I talked about how Chinatown was encroaching upon Little Italy, because Little Italy is irrelevant now, since Italian-Americans are all assimilated and there's no longer a need for a neighborhood of Italian immigrants. Little Italy is for tourists now, its ethnic touches are all a little self-conscious now, like the red, white and green painted on the parking meters, and the touristy pasta restaurants. It was interesting how crowded Canal Street was in contrast to Mulberry Street which was very quiet. The immigrant story is always the same, the narrative never changes--only the ethnicity.

Lasron and I ate at a yummy Chinese restaurant--we had pork dumplings and sweet and sour shrimp. Mmm....
ceebeegee: (Default)
I am reminded, reading Heidi's entry: she offered to stage manage Midsummer for me. YES. Very grateful--I would welcome that kind of support. I was the default stage-manager for both AYLI and Sleeping in Tomorrow and it was a lot of extra energy I could've put toward being a better Rosalind or a better director. Especially in the case of *h*d--how nice would it have been if, instead of my having to drag *h*d into the hall to yell at him for beng late (and eating pizza), Heidi could've dragged him out. And would've done an excellent job of openin' up a can o' whupass, I have no doubt.

Damn. We will have to go back to Brother Jimmy'z soon. I can still taste that raspberry margarita Heidi ordered.
ceebeegee: (Default)
I woke up late and called Duncan, to help him and Chris move. (BTW, their apartment is beautiful, just lovely--full of light. Their fourth roommate is a sweet English girl named Miriam.) When they picked me up, they were on their way to the apartment with the van full of stuff. I helped them unload all that, then we went back to Hoboken and packed and loaded. After picking up Heidi, we made another trip into the city, unloaded again, and then made a trip to Brother Jimmy'z, a cool Southern food and beer place in the Upper East Side (93rd & 3rd, I think). I haven't been there in forever; I love that place. Duncan liked it too; he was saying we'll have to go back. Oh YES, we will! I used to go there a lot when I lived on 92nd between 1st and York. Brother Jimmy'z RAWKS. On Wednesdays you can get a discount if you have Southern ID.

I am tired and sore.
ceebeegee: (Default)
So we had our farewell dinner for Marshall last night at the aforementioned One CPS Brasserie, and it was lots of fun. For my appetizer I had scrambled eggs with lobster and caviar. As delicious as it was, it was also incredibly rich--so much so that my stomach couldn't handle it and started to revolt about halfway through. I literally thought I was going to puke, so I stopped and let it settle for a bit. I had pepper tuna steak for my entree--it was pretty good but I was still full from the app. Dessert was so-so--sacher torte, and I've had the real thing, from the Hotel Sacher in Vienna, so I didn't think it was that great. Being on antibiotics, I couldn't drink but everyone else was throwing back glasses of wine and martinis.

The restaurant was beautiful--very clean, modern, open-feeling. One of our walls was a window into the kitchen, which was also very clean and white, and didn't look frantic at all. The restaurant is right on the corner of 59th and Central Park South, so there are views of both the Park and the plaza in front of the Plaza. It feels very different from Sparks Steakhouse, where we have gone for the holiday dinner for the last four years. Sparks is very heavy and masculine, with dark wood everywhere and lots of meaty meals.

People peeled off one by one, until there was a group of about 7 of us left. Adam was asking me about a song in Les Miz and I sang a few bars of this and that, until we figured out we was talking about "Do You Hear the People Sing?" Then he wanted to know about another song that Valjean sings, and he meant "God on High." He was trying to sing it with me, but he's tonedeaf so it weren't pretty. Adam has a recording of this song in Hebrew that he's going to bring in. Katie (another assistant who's an opera singer) and I started singing bits of various duets together--we think we should sing "I Know Him So Well" to Matt at the holiday party.

It was a lot of fun. I'm tired today but it was worth it.
ceebeegee: (Default)
Damn. How nice is she? I'm on an assignment today--they called me at 12:00, which has never happened before and I needed the money but at the same time...it's SUCH a gorgeous day outside, simply lovely. At least I enjoyed the walk. So I'd had no breakfast or lunch and this woman is ordering lunch for me, just asked me what I wanted. Roast beast with American cheese and mayo, on whole wheat. And ginger ale. How nice is that?
ceebeegee: (Default)
I am craving freshly baked semi-sweet chocolate chip cookies right now. I gave up sweets for Lent, and the cravings haven't been too bad until now. Mmm...Easter is less than two weeks away.
ceebeegee: (Default)
Nobu was delicious. I can still taste the eel handroll and the creamy spicy shrimp. YUM-MY. About halfway through the meal a couple was seated next to us--I saw the guy out of the corner of my eye--he was one of the scruffy rocker types, and I could sense the staff was excited to have him there--so I thought it might be either Gwyneth Paltrow's husband, Kate Hudson's husband, or Drew Barrymore's boyfriend, because all three of them date/are married to rockers. I snuck a glance over; it was Drew Barrymore. Drew! Sat next to me at Nobu!

I had a great time. We ordered the above items, as well as the squid pasta, a yellowtail handroll, a spicy tuna handroll, a softshell crab roll and lots to drink. I started with a foofy cocktail--banana rum, lemon juice, very sweet and then switched to Kirins. Mike had a Bloody Mary variation and then switched to scooooootch. For dessert we shared a Suntory Whiskey (ring a ding ding) sundae that was fucking amazing.

Afterward we went to Jekyll and Hyde in the Village and had beers, and then made our way west through Washington Square Park. I showed Mike again where the thpoooooky Hangman's Tree is in the northwest corner of the park, and told him about all the thpooky bodies buried under the park, which used to be a Potter's Field. Then I had to visit the site of the Triangle Fire (I just finished reading David von Drehle's book about it). The very building, the Asch building, is still there on the corner of Washington Place and Greene Street. We stood there, right there, where it happened, where all those women jumped to their deaths, fated to die because Blanck and Harris locked the doors to prevent employee pilferage.

After that we stopped for a last round at the Caliente and drank Dos Equis. Mmmm...
ceebeegee: (Default)
The temperature is really low today and it's hitting me hard. I can barely keep my eyes open, and all I want to do is bundle up, watch TV and eat grilled cheese sandwiches. Hate winter. Can't wait until spring.

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