Friday, February 26, 2010

More Snow!*

I think this is the most snow we've gotten so far! It started snowing yesterday morning and hasn't stopped yet, although it has lightened up. I don't think they've even plowed our street - it looks like cars (and not very many of them) have just been driving on top of packed snow - although Greenpoint has clearly been cleared (heh).

Schools are closed; Bloomberg is on tv talking about how the sanitation department has been working all night, all the plows are in use, they've hired some private services, and "if you want to help salt the streets and get paid, call 311." He addressed libraries, parks, senior centers, Broadway and midtown, homeless people, parking tickets - everything. This city is on top of its shit! During the last storm, D.C. was seriously shut down; that for sure hasn't happened yet here!

Anyway, yesterday Alex and I walked around in the snow after he got off work - I'll post more about that when he emails me the pictures.

This morning I got out in my rain boots and snow gloves and puffy jacket and thick socks and walked around through the - what - 14, 15 inches? - of snow. Some of the bales were so high they overflowed my boots! I tromped around and visited the school playground, which was the loveliest smooth white expanse, and upon request took pictures of a young woman in the snow by one of the basketball hoops, and then ran into the playground and let myself fall on my face and make a big floofy dent! It was the best. I would have taken a picture, but my poor phone camera was confused by all the whiteness.

*Weather: A phenomenon to which I am unaccustomed.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

If I Had a Camera

I would take a picture out the drawing room window in different weather at different times of day. It is the perfect view, and so astonishingly different in each of our myriad atmospheres.


I will buy a lot of Vermont pure maple sugar candy, which I have been craving since third grade.*

*This is when we got to try it in class, I believe. It blew my mind. I have not had any since.

When I Am Middle Class*

I will be a balloon pilot.

*It costs about $15,000 to get your FAA balloon pilot license and to buy a used balloon, which is about the same as it costs to buy a cheap new car. I have zero desire to own a car, but I have great desire to travel by balloon.

What I Learned Today

It is not a great idea to go outside in the snow barefoot.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Jamie is Back!


She got back on Saturday late afternoon! I am so pleased! I met Alex in the city that evening so we could give her and Tom the apartment to themselves for a while, and we went to the Upper East Side and got pizza and saw Shutter Island, which was terrifying but very good. (Alex didn't think it was scary really at all, just interesting and suspenseful, and that it doesn't even really count as a "scary movie," which I guess just means that I have a very low tolerance for scary, which I knew already, seeing as The Butterfly Effect scared the living hell out of me. But Shutter Island really was very good, very well put together, interesting, even though the premise/solution, when you figure it out, is basically exactly the same as the premise/solution of a different very good movie that came out some years ago. I was hoping it wouldn't be, when it started to occur to me about 2/3 of the way through, but the time it turned out to be, it was done well enough that I didn't object. But anyway, if you have any tolerance for scary at all, I really do recommend it.)

When we got home, Jamie and Tom and Alex and I ate chocolate cream pie and talked until late, and then went to bed. And then on Sunday we pretty much just hung out in the apartment all day, talked, ate pizza, watched the Olympics, and so on and so on... and Jamie's friend Amanda came over in the evening, which was super fun, and Tom made noodles in a slightly cheesy sauce for dinner, which was delicious. Yay! I like having Jamie back! Yay!

Tap Dancing and Making It!

For the purpose of this post, those are two separate things ;).

On Wednesday, Alex and I rented a small room at Ripley Grier for an hour and tap danced! It was super awesome. I have from time to time in my past carried my tap shoes about and found empty rooms with wooden floors to practice in, but I often run out of ideas of what to practice before I run out of time. Tapping with someone else means that sometimes we can just do our own things, but then we can also teach each other combinations and exercises and steps that we know, which means that not only do we have more stuff to do to fill the time, but we are practicing picking up new things, which can be a tricky endeavor outside of a class! Plus, I found my folder full of tap notes - mostly dances and exercises from Berle, plus some really old stuff from Sue B., plus some stuff from Bob Boross and some from Ray Hesselink (whom, p.s., Alex and I saw while we were there! We ran out of the room and said hello, and he remembered that we'd been on the UCI Satellite program, and congratulated us on moving here, and we said we'd come take class from him soon! So exciting!) - so when we run out of our own stuff to do, we can work on the stuff in there! The room was $24 for an hour, which was $12 each, which is about 2/3 of the cost of a class - plus we got to dance the whole time, instead of waiting while everyone else goes across the floor or practices stuff I've figured out already, or while the teacher figures out what to teach next, or any of the enormous number of other things that slow down dance classes.*

So that was great. The plan is to go three times a month, which is as often as I can afford.

And on Wednesday evening we went to see Making It! It was wonderful. It was so wonderful. It was Stew on guitar and vocals (and I think he wrote most of the music), and Heidi Rodewald on bass, and a guy on tuba and a guy on trombone and a guy on clarinet and bass clarinet and flute and sax and a guy on drums and a guy on keyboards, and I think that's everyone. It was music about the end of relationships, and it was music about the end of Stew and Heidi's stint on Broadway, and it was "Black Men Ski," about the many things black men do (I wonder if black women do them) that white people think only white people do because white people have a very ridiculous restricted view of black people, and it was music about touring, "there is an intimacy in motion that transcends the stationary," and it was music about drugs - speed, "the kingdom of drink," another person, and about the real, still, because that's how he relates to music, uses it to find truth and uses truth to find it and is always searching, or anyway, that's how his interaction with music appears to me, always searching for something deeper, and anyway it's what I think music should be, if I were to think of a single way that music should be, which I don't - and I loved it loved it loved it loved it loved it. If you ever have the chance to see Stew, do it.

And then as we emerged at the end of the show, a group of people were talking about Passing Strange, not the part it plays in Stew's musical curriculum vitae (I feel like there is a better phrase for that, but it is not coming to mind), not how his music has gone around it and through it and changed or not changed, not about theatre and music, not about the differences and the similarities and the overlaps and the divergences, not about anything across or around or through or among or between, but just about the content and quality of Passing Strange, and I was like, boy, did they miss the point or what.

*This is not to say that I don't absolutely love taking good tap classes. I love it. I would love to take some. I would love to be able to afford to take tap class twice a day five or six days a week. But that is not an option.

When I Am Rich

I will buy a copy of Treason's Shore, by Sherwood Smith, which is the fourth and final installment in her Inda series, and which none of the four library systems for which I have a library card possesses, even though they all have earlier books in the series. Aaaaaaaaaaaaagh. Also, I will probably buy the first three, because it is stupid to have just the fourth book in a series.

Also, I will buy a food processor, and will be able to make so many delicious things so much more easily.

Also, I might have a housekeeper specifically to come wash said food processor every time I use it.

The Day Before Yesterday

I made a chocolate creme (cream?) pie, which I have not done in a long time! It is delicious! I made a regular pie crust for it, rather than graham cracker, which is what I've used for this pie before. It's funny and frustrating, actually - the first time I ever tried making a pie crust was for a delicious pumpkin (well, butternut squash) pie, and it came out perfect. I found it straightforward and simple, and it was easy to roll out and easy to put in the pie plate and emerged light and flaky and wonderful.

Never since. I've made pie crust maybe three or four times since then, and every time it has constantly fallen apart as I tried to roll it, and stuck to the counter, and gone to pieces when I tried to put it in the pie plate. They still come out relatively flaky and taste decent, but they are not super delicious, and they are a little tough, and take significantly longer than I would prefer to invest! Hmph.

Anyway, made the crust, make the chocolate custard (substituting 3 oz. bittersweet TJ's Pound Plus Bar for 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, which neither Foodtown nor Trader Joe's carry [uh, what? really? so frustrating!], and subtracting a couple tablespoons of sugar), poured the custard in the crust, stuck it in the fridge for two hours, whipped up some cream, and voila! Finished just in time for Jamie getting home! (More on that later!)

In Defense

So I saw Making It, Stew's concert, last week, and I'll give an incredibly positive review of it momentarily. First, however, I want to get off my chest the aspect of it that has been upsetting me more and more since the concert.

Stew in this show was very critical of theatre - theatre as an art form, theatre as a whole. According to Stew, theatre doesn't carry the truth, the simplicity, the truth that rock accesses - it infantilizes the audience - it's deliberate - it's artificial - it tells you what to think and how to think it.

Well, yes, bad theatre does all those things. And bad rock music is solipsistic and narrow and shallow and annoying, and bad paintings are ugly and meaningless and pompous and condescending, and bad classical music lacks heart, and, ok, fine, so what?

Either Stew has only seen bad theatre, or theatre's mode of approaching and seeking and exploring the truth doesn't click with him, and that's fine, everyone has different tastes and ways of being and seeing, but this was more than a it doesn't work for me, it was a it doesn't work, and that's not fair, and it's not true. Theatre - straight and musical and in-between and otherwise - can be organic and genuine and puzzling and difficult and gutteral and true, on many levels.

I love theatre in a different way than I love music, and I have frequently been heard to say things to the effect of "I always think I love musical theatre, and then I listen to rock," meaning that rock clicks with me at maybe a different and deeper and more fundamental level than theatre, but that's not entirely true. The different part, yes. And maybe the deeper part, but if that is so it is because I am more willing to give myself over to rock music than to theatre, which may or may not be true, and even if it is, it is a thing in me and not a thing in theatre. Maybe theatre is usually more intellectual for me, maybe because it usually tells a more precise story than rock, but that doesn't mean it doesn't reach the same honesty and fundamental meaning and it definitely doesn't mean the audience doesn't have to work for it, and it really definitely doesn't mean it doesn't present itself for a myriad interpretations. The point is, good theatre is not didactic, and good theatre is not fake, and good theatre is challenging and moving and astonishing and even transcendent. Just like any other art form.

Obviously, I have no idea what Stew actually thinks or means - and of course, Making It is about emerging from the world of theatre (i.e. producing Passing Strange), which was not comfortable for him and did not feel like home, which is a wonderful thing to ponder and discuss and sing about - but I can only react to what he presents. And what he presented went beyond the personal (the personal was perfect) and into the personal of others, made the personal objective, which can be perfect, maybe, if you are fair about it, but he wasn't.

That's all. Forgive this post, please, for being a little brainstorm-y and run-on and scattered and unilaterally critical. In the next post, I'll give Stew the praise he is due - and he is due a great deal.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

When I Am Rich

I will pay $40 every time I go to the Met, to make up for all the times I intend to go and pay nothing or very little over the next couple years.

Now If Only I Had the Chutzpah to Try to Live There for a Week

Yesterday morning I didn't have much to do, and I'd gotten up delightfully early, and I was reading From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, so what else could I do but go to the Met?

It was a beautiful day outside - probably in the high forties; I didn't even need my coat. (Instead I wore a sweater and the lovely pink scarf that Meredith sent me!) I took the 7 to the N (no 7 Manhattan service on weekends recently, bleh) to the 5 and then walked a delightful few blocks to the grand front steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where I am not sure I had ever actually been before!

Anyway, admission for students (I for sure still use my student ID regularly) is "$10 or whatever you wish to pay," according to the people at the admission desk, so I handed over $5, got my little bendy bright yellow metal admission clip, and entered the vast halls.

I hurried through the Greeks and Romans - I am so over classical statuary and urns - to the African wing, which was mostly 19th-20th Century art from western Africa, plus an Ethiopian exhibit. My favorite piece was from the Wee people around the Burkina Faso area (I think I remember that correctly! I hope I do. I read all the labels, which provide relatively thorough context, but it was a lot of very varied information to absorb at once): It was a mask - I don't know what kind of creature or person it was supposed to look like, or if it was supposed to look like something specific at all - but to me it looked like a fierce, crabby, but mischievous and very friendly little dragon, and it just made me feel so nice inside.

Next I found myself in Meso- and South America. Most of the pieces here were older - 4th-7th Centuries, in general. My favorites were from Peru, because there was so much gold! There is something surprisingly beautiful about gold. It catches my eye with its glint, and then it holds my attention with its subtlety. Or maybe with its craftsmanship?* Anyway, the beaten gold jewelry is just astonishing.

Further along: Instruments of Oceania! Gongs made from big hollowed logs; decorated jaw harps; ocarinas (I love ocarinas especially); one-stringed instruments that use not only your fingers but your mouth; a few but not very m any other stringed instruments; drums; flutes of all sizes; and a really great instrument, I forget what it's called, with a big frond as its curved back/sound space and a cylindrical situation in the middle with many metal strings vertically all round and adjustable tuning levers. I loved this exhibit! Although the number of instruments - and the number of tools and ceremonies designed to access the sacred - reserved for men remind me that I am not a moral relativist, and that the repression/limitation/oppression of women is cross-cultural. (Not, of course, that I am such a big fan of the sacred, but that's maybe a whole other discussion....)

Next: My favorite: Modern art by Australian Aboriginal painters. Not only were the paintings beautiful, exciting, striking, and moving (most Western Modern abstract art I find to be beautiful or exciting or striking, but I find it moving less often, perhaps because of its deliberate lack of meaning, or anyway its lack of intentional meaning. All of the Aboriginal paintings displayed, though abstract, were nevertheless paintings of something, which I find makes them more meaningful, even when I am finding a meaning different from the intended meaning. The precision of the artist's intent translates in some form to a more concrete accessibility for me, if that makes sense. Of course, I know that I am generalizing appallingly about Western Modern abstract art, and I know that I don't know enough about Aboriginal art to know whether I am doing the same with it. That was a hilarious sentence.), but I really appreciated the reminder/acknowledgement that non-Western** cultures are still making art and have been this whole time. I think very often we think of non-Western art as being ancient, where Western art has a spectrum from ancient to current. Many white Westerners forget - or are never taught that or never realize that - people of all cultures have always been making art, often many different kinds of art, certainly with equivalent variety and prolificness*** as Westerners, in some form or another, and continue to do so today. Even in my Drama 120 class in school a couple years ago, which was basically about everything-art-and-resistance-and-culture-and-counterculture-in-all-places-in-the-world-from-prehistory-until-now (talk about a survey course, eh?) didn't really talk about current multi-cultural, multi-ethnic art, except in discussions about inspiration and appropriation, which are all well and good discussions but which are not sufficient.

Anyway, moving on: A survey of (Western) (mostly furniture-oriented) Modern (from the whole 20th Century) art. While I appreciate the ethics/goals/innovations of Modernity, and I appreciate simplicity and form, and I loved some of the pieces in there, there were some I wasn't exactly convinced were art. Like, for example, the metal and plastic chairs that looked like they came from IKEA. Or the perfectly average looking metal tea set. Of course, it is hard for me to understand their context, given that this is more than half a century later, but I can't shake the feeling that "art that makes high quality design accessible to people without a lot of money" is sort of just another way of saying "simple, mass-produce-able, and made with cheap materials." Or are those statements not mutually exclusive? I certainly don't believe that art has to be expensive. I don't believe that beautiful things have to be expensive. I don't believe that art has to be beautiful. I don't believe that art can't be functional. I might not even believe that function in itself isn't art. But I am still not convinced that a boring plastic and metal cheap-and-Swedish-style chair belongs in the museum.

Then again, I have definitely not been able to define "art" satisfactorily for myself, ever, so this is all on instinct.

After the Modern art, I left; I think three hours is the perfect amount of time for an art museum. Long enough to either study one or two exhibits in depth, or get a very satisfactory, thorough survey of three to five exhibits (which is what I did!); short enough that my brain and my feet don't wear out. I walked down Fifth Ave., along Central Park, which is still blanketed with snow, met Alex at his work as he was getting out, went home, discovered that the Olympics are now (!) (how did I miss this fact??) (The Olympics are my biannual highlight!), and proceeded to watch television for most of the rest of the day! Although I did take a brief sojourn with Alex to Petey's Burgers, which, we discovered, run about $6, meaning that they are cheaper than your average $10 New York burger but significantly more delicious than fast food (given that In 'n' Out tragically does not exist east of Utah). Also, I went to bed at 11, before the pairs figure skating was finished, which was very sad, but oh well.

In conclusion: I love museums! Especially the Met! Also, I love the Olympics.

*Is there a gender-neutral word for "craftsmanship"?

**Is there a non-Western-centric way to talk about non-Western cultures, when you are talking in a general way? Like, an equivalent when talking about cultures/societies of saying "people of color" as opposed to "non-whites" when talking about people?

***Prolificity? Proliferation? Not proliferation, that's something different. What, then?

Falling Inside

Alex just texted me from work to tell me that he feels like he is in a snow globe.

Isn't that a lovely thought?

It has been snowing continuously since yesterday evening, but I don't think it's even freezing out. Some of the snow that fell overnight, when it was colder, stayed on the ground for a while - and the snow that falls on the leftover snow from the last storm stays and adds to the piles - but mostly it just keeps melting on the ground.

Sometimes when I'm looking out the window, a big clump of snow falls down from the roof across my vision. It is always so startling and exciting!

I stood outside in it all for a few minutes. The snowfall is so soft and gentle, brushing my cheeks and eyelashes and melting after one perilous, poised moment. I love it!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

It Took Me Three Days To Get Around To It, But

I just made a snowperson!

I had never done that before!

I didn't realize how long it takes to make each section! I had this idea that you are supposed to make a snowball and then roll it in the snow and it gets bigger and bigger, because that is what children do in books and animated films, but the snow barely even wanted to be a snowball, and rolling just resulted in catastrophe, so instead I made sort of a heap of snow and then kept adding to it. Once I finished the bottom layer, I made sort of a heap of snow on top of it and then kept adding to it, little handfuls of snow at a time, pat pat pat, into place. And, of course, the same with the top layer, which was the hardest because it required more finesse.

I think it is usual to use a carrot for a nose and raisins for eyes and mouth, or anyway whatever other appropriate food you can find, but then I thought the squirrels might eat its face and ruin the whole thing in the process. My next thought was buttons, but I didn't have anyway! So it has eyes of dimes, a bobby-pin mouth, and a bobby-pin and penny for the line of its coat and for its coat button. I don't know how long they'll stay - is there a trick for getting snowperson faces to stay on instead of sliding off and taking snow with it? - but I am very pleased.

I am calling it Sorrel, because that is the first name that popped into my head and I think it is pretty.

Sorrel's portrait, below, isn't great quality, because I took it with my camera phone, which is worse than Alex's, but I think it is an admirable resemblance nonetheless!

Say "hello," Sorrel!

"Hello, friends of Shoshana!"

Cinnamon Rolls

On Thursday after my audition, I was tired and listless, so instead of typing, I made cinnamon pecan rolls! When I stirred up the dough, I'm pretty sure I almost set my electric beaters on fire, so I gave up with those and tried using a whisk, which was entirely in vain, and then moved onto a wooden spoon, which worked very well but certainly gave me workout for the day - especially as it was followed by fifteen minutes of kneading! What with all the stirring and kneading and rising and stretching and rolling and using-of-many-dishes and precise-placing-of-pecans and cutting and rising again (for extra long, because the radiators didn't go on all day and so it was very cold!) and baking, it took six hours!

But that is ok, because I didn't have anything else I wanted to do, and also they were so enormous that the six of them (the recipe makes six, which I thought when I started wasn't very many, but oh how wrong I was) sort of turned into one big roll and practically overflowed the 9x13 pan, and also they are soooooooooooooo delicious. They have brown sugar pecan syrup instead of gross powdered sugar drizzle, and they are stuffed to the brim with goodness. I like the dough part best, followed by the pecans. Alex likes the sugary part best. Tom is in California, so he doesn't have a favorite part, but I'm sure he would!

We have been eating them for breakfast.

Friday, February 12, 2010


I might live on the beach.

When I Am Rich

I will never be cold. I will have the warmest and the most beautiful and the most comfortable clothing (it will be all those things at once), and my home will always be warm, except in the summer, when it will be perfectly, pleasantly cool.

I Really Want This Job

I auditioned for Little Maestros yesterday! I sang "The Start of Something New." The audition took about ten seconds. One of the two women watching me came and stood right behind the piano looking at me, and it was kind of awkward and I didn't know if I was supposed to look at her or what, so I didn't, but I tried to sort of keep my eyes open and head up. I didn't support one note well enough, and I hit one wong-but-not-too-wrong note on the piano, but I had a good time! It was fun. And it looks like a fun organization to work for. I mean, playing the piano and singing with other singers and a band (most of whom are around my age), for kids, on a regular basis, with flexible hours, for money, is pretty high on my list of dream jobs. Of course I can think of all kinds of flaws it might have - it's not as if I know any of the details yet - but I still really want this job.

They said they would call if they wanted me to come back in for a callback, but they didn't give a time frame and I didn't think to ask. I guess I just keep my fingers crossed and try not to think about it much! Which, actually, I am pretty good at, because there are so many other great things to think about! The heaps of snow outside - the slush I get to slush through in my exciting rain boots - what I'll do next to advance my career and find more work - wonderful poetry - Stew and Heidi's show next week - Anne of Green Gables, which series I am re-reading - Lord Sunday by Garth Nix, which is due to come out in March - overdue fines - exciting-sounding places I want to explore, like Far Rockaway - the painting Lissa is making me - my CD (did I mention that I have twenty beautiful labelled, finished copies of my CD? I think I'll sell them at $10 each, if I can manage, but first I have to figure out how to promote!) - napping on the super comfortable mattress in Alex's room - taking baths when I am cold! - posting on this glob - and so many more things that there's hardly room for them all in my head!

As darling Anne says, "Isn't it splendid there are so many things to like in this world?"*

*L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Edna St. Vincent Millay Might Be My Hero


Let you not say of me when I am old,
In pretty worship of my withered hands,
Forgetting who I am, and how the sands
Of such a life as mine run red and gold
Even to the ultimate sifting dust, "Behold,
Here walketh passionless age!"--for there expands
A curious superstition in these lands,
And by its leave some weightless tales are told.

In me no lenten wicks watch out the night;
I am the booth where Folly holds her fair;
Impious no less in ruin than in strength.
When I lie crumbled to the earth at length,
Let you not say, "Upon this reverend site
The righteous groaned and beat their breasts in prayer."

-Edna St. Vincent Millay

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hell Has Frozen Over*

I am auditioning tomorrow to be the pianist-who-sings for Little Maestros, "NYC's premier infant-toddler music program."

I will be bringing in a song from High School Musical.

*And Not Because of the Snow.


It has arrived!

And it has arrived in glory!

I would take a picture, except for not knowing how much it costs yet. Alex asked the guy at Verizon, and he didn't know. What help is that?

Today we carried $185 worth of groceries (we had a 10% off coupon!) home, as snow stung our eyes and lit on our hair and soaked the bottoms of our bags when we had to put them down to switch hands, and mountained the front of my coat in white. Next time I go outside I will be wearing my sunglasses. Fortunately, they are red, so they will match my coat. I might also wear my wide straw hat. It would keep my head dry, and also I would look awesome.

Earlier, when I first woke and discovered that it was snowing, I got right out of bed and took a walk. I started out going south on 40th, then turned west when I hit the freeway, followed the freeway until it veered back towards Greenpoint, walked west on Greenpoint out to Van Dam (I hadn't been that far before. It's only half a mile or so, but after the first part of my trek and because I was trudging (in my beautiful exciting RAIN BOOTS!!!!!) through both untouched, glittering dunes and sludgy overwalked, overdriven pathways, it felt like kind of a long ways! It was so beautiful out, though, and I felt good about myself for walking, and I was relatively warm and dry under my coat and hat and scarf and thick teal socks (thanks, Ruthy!).

Now I am back inside, and all the groceries are put away, and I am not yet ready to go out to do the laundry. But the snow still looks so beautiful flying past my window! The snowflakes are enormous; I can see the individual monster flakes from twenty feet away. I can see their crystalline patterns, even from inside!

I think I'm going to build a snowperson later. That is something that I have never done!

I am a pleased woman.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

There is a Snowpocalypse*

Everywhere else. Not here.


*I do not get credit for coining this word. I saw it on someone's facebook status.

Catching Fire

The sequel to The Hunger Games.* Did I mention that I read it a week or so ago? Holy crap, that book was intense. The final one doesn't come out until August. How will I survive?

*Now if only the library will stop bringing it back on hold for me over and over. It keeps showing up on my hold shelf after I return it! "But the book came back, the very next day...." (Oh, man, that would be creepy as all get-out.)

There Was Something Else

fun that I was going to post about, that I thought of yesterday or the day before, but I have forgotten it. Dang.

I Had a Social Life the Other Day!

John W., a friend from Irvine, moved to the city about three weeks ago, and on Wednesday, we got to hang out!

Alex and I met him in the city around 6, and he led us downtown to a little vegetarian Asian fusion place in the Village, the name of which I have entirely forgotten. We ate (I had respectably good Pad Thai, which I did not eat very much of but which provided me three delightful meals by means of its leftovers; I forget what Alex had; John had sesame [soy] chicken, which is his favorite) for relatively cheap in a lovely place (the restaurant was small and nice and many-windowed), and talked for probably an hour and a half or so.

When we finished, we wanted to keep hanging out, so we decided to go up to John's place in Washington Heights (a two-month sublet; he says the area he's in is pleasant, but the building kind of gross), but at about 50th St. it was revealed to John that I have a piano, and we reversed directions and came back here! He printed out a new song he's working on, and I played that and a bunch of other stuff for the boys, which was lots of fun.

Then we (+Tom! yay!) played Settlers of Cataan three times, until 4 in the morning.

Alex and John taught Tom and me. John won once and Alex won twice. I almost won once. But of course, I never win at board games, so that wasn't really in the cards (heh heh).

John stayed the night!


Monday, February 1, 2010

Central Park... December, after the snowstorm!

I don't have a camera, but Alex's phone takes pretty good pictures. I can't take and post a ton of them right now, because we won't know how much it costs to email them from his phone to me until he gets his phone bill at the end of the month. Not too much, I hope, because I want to take pictures of everything!


Inspired by Katie Sokoler at, I bought chalk a couple days ago. Today Alex and I put it to good use!

I just doodled.

Alex drew a flower pot...

...but the flowers were actually bugs!

Then we decided to expand.

With the two of us working together, my doodle turned into a beautiful tree!

Here is a close-up of the branch:

A bunch of people walked by while we were drawing. Two elderly ladies taking a walk stopped to chat; one of them told us about how when she was a girl, she used a banana peel as a hopscotch marker.

I made an enormous hopscotch! I started by putting numbers in the boxes: 1; 5; 12. Then I got more creative: i; pi; -3; 3/4; 81.7! Then I had even more fun: Hello!; I love U; YES; NO; ALWAYS; WHY?; FAREWELL! Every square had a different exciting entry!

One guy about our age stopped and took a picture to put on facebook. I am so glad that we made someone else's day exciting too!

Here was my favorite: