Archive | January, 2009

Traction

30 Jan

It’s amazing what you can accomplish with two cheap Ikea rugs.

Last weekend they helped avert a minor disaster.  Isaac and I have been shoveling the driveway upstate instead of hiring a plowing service.  It saves money and is good exercise, but we’re not quite as strong as a plow.  And since this has been an odd winter, with ice storms in between snow storms, our driveway has accumulated a viciously slick layer of ice below the snow.

On Friday, I loaded up Oliver with a bunch of little stuff to go upstate, while Isaac and his sister (who had flown in from Colorado for a mini-break that involved helping us move) packed a rental truck with our dining table and other furniture better suited to life upstate than life in a studio apartment.

I took the Taconic, happily bopping along to the awesome new Raconteurs album, managing somehow to stay on the road as I gawped at hawk after hawk perched ridiculously at the top of the tiniest tree, while the duo in the truck took the Thruway.  Beyond all expectations both vehicles arrived at the house at nearly the same time.  We showed Isaac’s sister around, unloaded and then decided it was time to return the truck.  We wanted to accomplish something other than moving that day.

And then reality kicked in.

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Change

23 Jan

Change is in the air.

We (finally!) have a new president, big things are happening for both Isaac and I at work and we’re moving.

No, sorry Lydia, not upstate.  But we are moving on up, uptown in fact, to the Upper West Side.

Our two years in Bay Ridge were an experiment.  After living together in an apartment that more closely resembled a small watercraft (with a very small kitchen) than a place to live on land, we decided that space trumped an easy commute.  We packed up and moved to the far, far reaches of Brooklyn.

At first it was joyous; a new neighborhood with new quirks and so much good food to explore.  But as the months dragged on and my job, especially, became increasingly intense, the hour or more spent each way commuting to and from work has become too much.  And so, when an email popped up on my BlackBerry from a co-worker who was vacating a small (but not that small) two-room studio a block-and-a-half from Central Park, we jumped on it.

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Into The Pan

15 Jan

I have a co-worker, an accomplished young woman, who’s guilty pleasure is reading chick lit.

To her this is a deviant activity.  She was raised by a family of very smart women, is Ivy League-educated and has a rather important job for someone of her not-yet advanced years.  So to her, reading what is the literary equivalent of a pair of fluffy, pink maraboo-bedecked, high-heeled boudoir slippers is a delicious and deviant activity.  It’s a release into a fantasy world where the tough questions life tosses at you include “Manolo or Louboutin?”  “Should I or shouldn’t I?”  and “Champagne or martini?”

I think this is a wonderful escape.  Working in the same newsroom, a place that can make Times Square look like a misty Adirondack lake, I fully understand the need to escape into another world.  But chick lit has just never done it for me.  Nope, I like my literary frippery to have a little more age on it.  My guilty pleasure is historical fiction.

I know, I know, you’re all sitting out there thinking, “Wooooooooo… Wow, that’s so, uhm, indulgent, Ann!”  God, even my guilty pleasures are cerebral.  But, it’s true. When I’m surrounded by chaos, there’s nothing I love more than to sink into a book about another time, far far in the past.

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Snow Birds

11 Jan

For a minute there, I almost believed that winter had forgotten about us up here.

Isaacs lavendar yesterday.

Isaac's lavender yesterday.

Isaacs Lavendar Today

Isaac's lavender today

I was watching the status updates on facebook of my friends down in the city: Playing in the snow in Brooklyn! Cozy inside watching the snow fall.  Snowball fight!

And we were up here, in the great snowy north, with no new snow.  It was mystifying.

And then, as soon as I dared to mention something to Isaac, oh?  What’s that?  A flake.  Followed by another and another.  By the time we got home from the grocery store, it was snowing in earnest.

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Like A Lamb

2 Jan

2009 crept in while I slept.

Hudson River Sunset

For the first time since my age was in single digits, I slept through the transition from old to new year.  And though I would have liked to watch the tail-end of 2008 slink away into the shadows of history, I’m okay with my decision to get some sleep.  It bodes well for the new year. Maybe this one will contain more serenity (and naps) than the last.

For, like many, I am not displeased to have 2008 behind me.  In reality, it was a pretty good year for me.  I got promoted, and we bought the house, we went to Italy, my second nephew was born, I mastered pie crust, went to the county fair, was party to the world’s best dinner party story ever and had a successful surgery that will hopefully keep me hale and healthy for many years to come. These are good things.

But I also worked my tail off in 2008, as did Isaac, and while good things hopefully lie ahead for both of us, we could both use a calm 2009.  So, a toast!  May your 2009 be healthy and happy, full of friends, family and delicious food.  May your house retain its value, may your bank accounts stay in the black and may your new year be as full of naps as your heart desires!

But back to 2008 for one minute.  The thing that I have spent the most time thinking about during my break away from the blog has been recipes.  Turns out that, after careful consideration, the writing of recipes is the thing that keeps me from posting more frequently.  You see, I’m not a very organized or disciplined person when it comes to cooking.

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