Thursday, December 27, 2007

Blogger's Guilt

One of my bad teenage habits was starting journals, writing a dozen entries, and quickly tapering off. There was no legitimate reason; no writer's block, lost diaries, or broken fingers. And then each time I'd glance at the cute cover, you know--flowery fields or colorful patters, the guilt pangs would strike, worsening when I debated whether to write again or wait for a fresh start (like September when school started, or New Year's).

It was the length of time between entries left me stumped then...and now. Say it had been two months, was I to include some vague catch up or just pick up as if I'd never stopped.

I'm having this same problem with our blog. I keep wondering if I should rewind and write about our Thanksgiving trip to Mesa, AZ. Cousin LaMont did mix 50 lbs of mashed potatoes with a dry wall mixer on an electric drill while his sister, Trina, dropped in sticks of butter. Perfect post material. Or do I include some of the awesome Christmastime skating, holiday soirees, sing-a-longs, family get togethers, etc.

When we started this blog, we evaluated the commitment and felt we were ready. Yet now that familiar guilt is back.

High hopes for 2008...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Words not needed

For those of you who did not have the chance to watch the game, all you need to do is listen to these two clips.
4th Qtr. - Utah leads by a score of 10-9. Under 1:30 to play. BYU has the ball, 4th down and 18 to go for the first down. I have to admit I was pretty bummed at this point. Listen to what happens next! ie418.mp3
A few plays later - Max Hall hands the ball off to Harvey Unga on 2nd and 7 from the 11 yard line. Go ahead and listen. I have just made this the ring tone on my cell phone.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

over it

the newness of changing the water cooler is gone. i went this morning needing hot water for my oatmeal and it was out. instead of feeling empowered or proud, i felt irritated that i was the one having to hoist up the big bottle. i just wanted the water to be ready for me. isn't it amazing how quickly things change?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Not just a duvet

while working on our wedding registry, jason and i were frequently swayed by floor models. something about seeing a particular house hold item displayed, made it even more appealing. such was the case with our bedding and duvet cover. the creamy faux fur tucked in perfectly with brown creamy accents was irresistible. what we didn't realize that sleeping under all those synthetic fur fibers, as pretty as it may be, would be HOT. i'll not air the details that came with that...

we (mostly me) decided it was time for a new duvet cover so we could enjoy a not too hot and not too cold winter; and finally start using our down comforter that has been folded up in the corner for months. perfection was found in a blue paisley duvet with a hint of orange, coordinating wonderfully with our orange wall and the accent pillows we already own.

this is how the new bed looks...and a close up of the pattern.

our bed is so comfortable and being able to snuggle the down comforter without sweating helps. but maybe i should give due credit to the duvet, perhaps the claim on the packaging is correct. it states "slip under the new Luxe duvet and jaunt off to an exotic spot every evening when you surround yourself with this elegantly subtle paisley pattern in rich sky hues." wow. this is not just a duvet!

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Unknown caller,
Go ahead and leave a message because until I know who you are and what you may want, I am not answering.

I'm happy you're here. The chill in the air feels nice.

Fellow Shopper,
I do not care how well behaved your Golden Retriever is, or how tiny your Terrier is, dogs have no business in Banana Republic, the Food Emporium, or any shopping establishment.

Earring Back,
I am super bitter that you fell off today. After you did, I lost one of my favorite earrings. Bitter.

Dear Personalized Stationary,
I want you but you are just too pricey. Can't a girl get her initials embossed on a budget?

Dear Burger Joint grill,
I'm glad you decided to work again tonight because that burger was delicious!

Dear JCrew,
I wish your prices were generally 25% less. If they were, I'd buy 50% more.

Dear Sweatpants,
I love you.

Very Truly Yours, Erica

Thursday, November 08, 2007

All In A Day's Work

Two great things happened at work today. I'm going to recount the events in no particular order.

1. At 7:00 I arrived at school with 2 Swiss Miss packets and a plastic yankee cup, the kind you get at the game if you buy a large soda (tangent: of course my husband actually keeps these cups and this morning it came in handy). I've been under the weather and my throat soar, so all I wanted for breakfast was a huge cup of hot chocolate. But on the bus I remembered that last night at school Jason and I drank the last of the water with our Chinese food. Shoot! We were the last ones out at 10, and I knew I'd be one of the first ones in....which meant the water bottle would be empty.

What do to? Wait for someone else to change the water bottle later in the morning and possibly not have hot chocolate? Not even a remote possibility. Those who know me, understand that once something is in my head (ideas, cravings, preferences, etc) it is tough to change. So I made a decision to change the water bottle. Just recently I helped someone change the water cooler bottle...and they are big! Like maybe 5 gallons....10? But I learned for the first time in my life, that it's okay for a little to spill out when you turn it upside down because there is a collection place inside. I know, I did I not already know this? Now I knew the main issue would be the weight of the bottle, not the spillage.

But... I did it. I lifted that bottle up, flipped it onto the top of the cooler, and made myself some hot chocolate. The best part: one of our wonderful maintance guys came in right as I was standing back, empty cooler bottle in hand, looking at the cooler with pride. And yes, I'm still proud. And yes, the hot chocolate was amazing.

2. I met Jerry Seinfeld. He was on a school tour today. I think he was wearing a black pea coat and jeans. I do have to say he's better looking in person than on T.V or in pictures.

What a day?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Things I learned today...
1. Kindergarteners adore light up necklaces (I had a feeling about this but it was fun to test the theory; mine had blue ghosts).
2. Making apple pie is way too complicated to do with children. Next time I will either follow Jason's advice and take it off the "ballot" or slip in a pre-made pie crust. I prefer the taste anyway.
3. I really, and I mean REALLY, like toasted pumpkin seeds. So much in fact, that I'm thinking of buying some post-holiday, sale pumpkins to eat the seeds. Ewww...Jason just suggested I buy a bag of pre-made seeds. I am going to allow myself to live the rest of my life believing the only good ones are the ones you roast yourself.
4. Academics on Halloween are pointless and should not even be attempted.
5. Halloween is a perfect date night. Restaurants aren't crowed, and being out and about allows you experience the joy of NYC costumes. A few times tonight on the way downtown I thought to myself, "Is that guy dressed up?" I'll never know.

The Most Difficult Time of Year

If there is one thing that Erica teases me about over and over - it is that all of my posts are about sports. That is not entirely true, but for some reason whenever I think about posting about sports I now hesitate. Let it be known to all who read this blog I love Erica much more than sports. There is really no comparison (how is that for brownie points? although it is true). With that preface, let me begin.
The Utah Jazz season is officially underway. It was nice to see them start the season with a win over the Golden State Warriors Tuesday night (wednesday morning for those of us on the East coast). Which brings me to the point of this post, being a Utah Jazz fan in NYC. The nice thing is I get to see them play live a minimum of twice a year (thanks to away games against the Knicks and Nets, given they don't play on a Sunday). The difficult part is that the majority of their games are played on the West coast, which makes for a very late night. For example, last nights game started at 10:30pm Eastern time. That means the game wont be over until well past midnight. How does one cope in such a situation? The answer is DVR. My routine for most of the games is simple. Set the DVR, go to bed, don't check text messages lest you want a spoiler from Hendu, Rett or Bodily, wake up one hour earlier than usual, watch the first three qtrs. quickly - mostly on a slower fast forward, watch the 4th qtr on normal speed over breakfast. You may think I am crazy, but it works for me. The only possible downside is when the Jazz blow a game they should have won, then I can be a little cranky for a few hours and that is not the optimal way to start a day. However, I have become much better. I have come to a realisation that the Jazz will never go 82-0 and I remind myself that a basketball game is really not that important. The playoffs - now that is another story - Erica doesn't care much for me during the playoffs. I am sure the other tenents in our building may not like me either due to a raised voice on bad calls (or Baron Davis).

I have probably lost most of you do to the length and content - but I will leave you with my predictions for the season - props to Hendu for the idea. Check out the Tyler and Stacy link to see his Jazz Predictions.
  1. Jerry Sloan finally wins coach of the year.

  2. Jazz games I will attend this year - 4 (Knicks, Nets, probably one at home, ???)

  3. Regular season Jazz games I will watch on TV (thanks to DVR and NBA LeaguePass) - 82

  4. NBA games I will watch that do not include the Jazz - 0

  5. Games that Tim Tanner watches with me - 3

  6. Games that Erica happily watches with me - 0

  7. Games won by Jazz - 51

  8. Jazz All-Stars - 2 (Williams and Boozer)

  9. Ronnie Brewer - top three in voting for most improved player

  10. The over/under on text messages from Rett containing questionable content - 25.5

  11. Percentage of those text messages I show to Erica - 65%

  12. The over/under on text messages from Hendu - 246.5 - (at least 3 per game)
  13. Times I wish I were in UT due to my Dads access to tickets - 41

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Weekend Update (a little late)

Jason and I got to puppy sit this weekend! My friend, Erin, was heading out of town so we got to take care of her "girls"--Penny, Gwen, and Maddie. I actually couldn't tell Gwen or Maddie apart all weekend. They're sisters and look exactly alike. The weather was unbelievable, so we took the golden retrievers to Rockefeller Park for a walk. Walking in the park with dogs is one of life's simple pleasures. I loved our nice long walk, smiling at and chatting with other dog owners, and "country life".
Here's Jason by the lake...

Maddie, Gwen and I...It was so warm!

I've always loved grazing cows. For this guy, small fence = no problem.

Bright Autumn Leaves!

Wonderful problem solving skills.

Monday, October 22, 2007

check up

i had an endocrinologist apt. this afternoon and had to leave school as i dismissed the kids. i explained this to them so they understood why i was getting my bag together while they got theirs. they asked if i was sick and i told them it was just a check up. this is the ensuing conversation i had with a 35 year old man stuck in 6 year old body.

boy: have you had your yearly breast cancer check?
me: no not yet. (this may or may not be the truth, i was just trying to stifle a giggle and figured honesty was not of the utmost importance).
boy: you should. i just went with my mom and its important.
me: that's good advice.

was there anything else to say?

this type of exchange is the best part of teaching kindergarten. they tell you exactly what they're thinking.

Monday, October 15, 2007

What's for lunch?

Today for lunch the kids had raviolis, marinara sauce and a spinach salad. This is one of their favorite lunches...17 out of 18 will eat ravioli but only 2 or 3 try spinach salad (ranking least favorite veggies).

As Mark approached for seconds on ravioli, he dropped spinach leaves with each step. I had to warn, "Be careful. Don't tip your plate; you're getting salad on the floor" . To which he calmly replies, "Don't worry, I wasn't going to eat it...I just got it for decoration."

How do you not love that? I'm pretty sure that explaining why we dont' waste food was just a waste of breath but I wasted it anyway.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Just Because

"Just because..." is my favorite reason to give/recieve gifts. I like to send my sisters random little things in the mail or pick up something for Jason while I'm out, usually a food or clothing item. This "just because" also applies to cards and flowers. When they aren't inspired by a birthday or holiday, I love them....but bring home flowers on Valentine's day and I am not impressed. I think this is any easy principle to figure out.

Friday Jason did it perfectly. I got from work around 7 or 8, and after a few minutes Jason says, "Close your eyes." He then appears in front of me and with a tiny brown box. I open it and pull out the most fabulous key chain I have ever seen. It's gorgeous and I love it and he gave it to me "just because".

I am lucky.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Blogging Hiatus

Work is seriously cutting into my blog time. I was feeling good (not great, but a solid "good") about the frequency of our posting. Then school started and teaching Kindergarten took over my life. And no, I am not exaggerating. When I was doing science I could use the prep time between classes to get stuff done (run to the mailbox, research lessons/topics, enjoy lunch)...or send personal emails to maintain friendships. Those days are completely over. First of all, my day from 8:00-3:00 is devoted to 18 five-six year olds. Not only are there very few breaks, but this is not an age when kids can be working independently without teacher attention. I also work with a group of amazing teachers...which means no slacking:) And there's a bit of that corner-cutting, slacker-ism inside me. Long story short, I work long hours and let blogging fall by the wayside. But oh do I miss it.

So I'm taking tonight off from newsletters, cutting, and planning. I may even live on the wild side and wing my Christopher Columbus mini-lesson tomorrow to provide a weekend update. A little tribute to two people I really love....

The Connors came to visit! They weren't just coming to visit us...but I don't care because they did visit us. A dear friend of Ashley's was getting hitched and they were out for the celebration. Whatever the reason, we were thrilled to hang out...

After the reception, at the gorgeous Waverly castle (an estate in New Canaan CT) the four of us headed to John's new favorite diner...or maybe his favorite CT diner (corrections are welcome, John?) The previous night they had stopped there and John was impressed by the buffalo wings. I don't know if it was the call of the wings or the waitress that brought him back.

By the way, the food at the reception was delicious and we definitely weren't hungry:) The waitress was a hoot. I can use cheesy terms to describe her because she is one of the cheesiest people I have ever met. We order the wings, and she joked, "Wing, wing, who's there?" while using her hand as a phone. She laughed at the rediculousness of her own jokes and was completely lovable. As we were leaving, we asked her name...Jan. And then, like we werne't already thinking it, she says ,"Some people call me Tan Jan." GET OUT! You may notice we ordered wings, an oreo shake, diet cokes, french fries and sweet potato fries; obviously not concerned about our waist lines or our hearts.

Always open. We left feeling giggly and jumped up to do a girly pose thing. I think Ash looks hot. She may be practice in the mirror.

After a day of shopping, on the quest for great shoes, the crew headed to Little Italy for dinner. These days Mulberry St. = Little Italy, as there area is sort of being swallowed up by an expanding China Town (some old-world Italians are not thrilled about this). This is Wade, Kirsten, Ash, John, Me, Jason, Shannon, Dave, and their cute and sturdy little guy, Camden. is my favorite place down there...mostly because of the outside dining area and ambiance. But the food is good too.

We had our good-bye dinner at Buddakan and then while walking over to the subway, we passed a large excited party on the street. Seeing balloons, I asked what the party was for? One church goer exclaimed, "Not a party! Locked in church." Luckily my interpreter Jason stepped in and learned that forty women had a lock down in church for four days, and this was there celebration. We didn't think to ask what they were praying for but they did offer these flags. As Ashley took the picture, Jason was saying "I feel like a geek."

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Memo: Wal-Mart Recall Bulletin

Today one of the Partners I work for at EY came to my desk, handed me a memo with a very serious look in his face, and then just turned and walked away. This was strange for two reasons. A - He is generally a good mood kind of guy, and B - who uses memos anymore?
The title was Wal-Mart recall bulletin. This was relevant because some of my current work has involved Wal-Mart. I begin to read as follows....
Wal-Mart department stores announced a total recall of all "Mr. Met" Halloween costumes effective immediately. When contacted for the reason for the recall, spokesperson Shelly Cora repplied "They pose a tremendous choking haxard!" She went on to say "Wal-Mart did what they had to do."
Did I mention that this partner also happens to be a huge Mets fan - season ticket holder. I got a good laugh out of this. But I really think he is depressed.
Needless to say - it is not a good time to be a Met fan.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Glad it happened to me!

One of the nice perks to my job is that almost every Friday someone in a much higher position than myself takes me to lunch. We typically go to a nice place that has good food. The best is when we go to a place that I typically would not go to because it is just too pricey. Today that place was Koi. A wonderful Japenese restaurant in the Bryant Park Hotel that gets great reviews.

Very good, infact the sushi was amazing. Service was great. It is all served to share. We had Kobe Filet Mignon (about 4-5 little pieces for $48). I even loved the Sashimi which usually doesn't appeal to me (this place may have completely converted me). Perhaps the most delicious was the special - a double shrimp roll. 3 of use ate - bill came out to be $250 (without the tip, no drinks of course).

Just as one of us was commenting on how good the services has been.... splash! A glass of water has slipped off the waiters tray landing directly onto my shoulder and all down my back. Needless to say I was soaked. The waiter was wonderful. He was so sorry and apologetic. Immediately after the spill all the staff is helping dry me. I actually thought it was pretty funny. I wasn't upset and I felt bad for the waiter. Later the manager approached me and thanked me for being understanding. He also said that if there was anything he could do to just let him know. As I was leaving I saw him in the front, I approached him while handing over my business card.

"I think my wife would really like this place, can I bring her in?"

"Absolutely" was his response. "Just give me a call."

Honey - we are going on a date!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Sighting

Lots of our friends ask about famous people sightings. Many people who have lived in NYC for awhile, or live in a "hot-spot" area, have a sightings list. From the pages of USWeekly, it looks like celebs are always on the NYC streets (or in the stores). But I have close to NONE. Actually Tony Bennett downtown and Cynthia Nixon in an UES diner are the only two that come to mind. I have seen a couple familiar faces that I can't find the name for. My hinderances are that I'm a. usually in a rush, b. not looking, or c. my mind is somewhere else. If I slowed down to register faces things may be different.

Last night, after make a jeans exchange at the J.Crew at Columbus circle I hopped on the escalator heading down to the exit. ((Sidenote: I was trading in regular lengths for a am I possibly a short? I'm 5'6" for heavens sake. What do the 5'3" people wear? Guess I should be grateful that I can get jeans there to wear with flats or with heels. Anyway, back to the story) . I was fishing through my bag to get the receipt ready for my next return. Near the bottom, a person waving from the up escalator caught my attention. It wasn't an obnoxious wave but more of a slight, with a moment of hesitation wave. A quick look at the person and I realize, I don't know him...he must be waving to someone else. I glance behind me to see if anyone is recognizing this guy. And who is riding a few stairs up...Larry King. This is man easy to recognize. Not only does he look quite unique, he was leaning on the handrail the same way he leans on his desk, as if it's supporting his whole self and thought processes. Since there were very few people around, I say ,"He acts like he knows you?" which Mr. King replies, "Probably thinks he does."

Isn't it funny how we feel like we know the people we see on T.V all the time??

I'm glad someone else had enough wits about them to wave, drawing my attention to my escalator neighbor. Otherwise I'm quite sure my head would have stayed in my bag until I stepped off...missing the opportunity to add Larry King to my super exciting celebritiy spotting list.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Catching up on Summer

How many times have I said to Erica, "I am going to post this on our blog?" The answer is - way too many. Here are a few of the things you may have missed about our summer.

We took a little trip upstate to Niagara Falls with the McCullochs before they left us. Nate and I took a moment to check out the map during a pit stop overlooking Lake Ontario. Just like the map told us, this road was a dead end.

I was right there for every single set of stairs for the entire weekend. What would the McCullochs have done without me?

How could we go upstate and not stop here? The birthplace of one of the world's most important innovations....Buffalo Wings!!

My beautiful wife and I at the falls.

The inspiration for our trip was none other than the New York State licence plate - NYC to Niagara.

That is it for now... I better stop here before I throw the computer our the window. I had just added photos of our trip to Seattle and Blogger just erased them. They will have to wait until next time.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


we'd had some startling evidence of rodent invaders. last week in a flurry of looking for something under the bed, i found a gift torn to shreds. just a small hole actually but the contents were shredded. my mil made me a soothing, heating pack. i loved it. i would pop it in the mircowave for 2-3 minutes on chilly nights, wrap it around me or simply snuggle it up next to me. apparently it dropped from the bed one night several months ago and i didn't recognize the urgency in picking it up. you may be asking yourself why a mouse would chew into it? this snuggle sack retained warmth because it was full of corn kernels. obviously not the popping kind. my jaw dropped when i found it. through a hole the size of a nickle, the little enemy had eaten through nearly all the contents of the bag. another irritating fact, since the nibbled kernels were strewn on the floor, it was dining in our bedroom! disgusting! i know. i should be too humiliated to tell this tale. i hope our friends will still come over.

second offense: we returned from out fabulous long weekend in seattle to find a few little black droppings on the stove and even one in the tub! this is the first time we've ever seen this in our apartment. mouse feces...disgusting!

aside from this corn incident, we're clean people! of course we occasionally leave the bathroom a few days too long in between cleanings but we work hard to make sure there isn't food out or other pest attractions. i also know this is new york city, a few vermin are to be expected. perhaps, but i can't accept it! i want to wage all out war. actually i want jason to do it. there's that damsel thing again.

we'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

PFP: picture free post

Just when I was in the full swing of blogging, something terrible has happened. I can't upload pictures. This has put a serious damper on my urge to blog. I had a lovely post about my cousin Ady's weddding...but without pictures? And what of, our trip to Seattle or the before and afters of the classroom I am desperately trying to get set up.

A few updates will suffice...

1. The white dress was returned to our dry cleaner and now, I'll just have to just trust fate.

2. I decided on the Aldo true-gray shoes. I think they're gorgeous. They do make me a little on the too-tall side (sorry, to all my tall friends and super tall sister) and my feet really suffer if I try to wear them for too long. Other than that, it's love.

3. Since the last post, Jason and I went out to Newport Beach for my cousin's wedding and this past weekend we spent Labor day in Seattle with Brandi, Sterling, Tyler, Stacy and briefly, Rett and Jill. As soon as pictures are up, the official posts are up. (And no, I don't imagine people are waiting on it).

4. The past full week of my life has been devoted to the new classroom. My past four years as a Science teacher were much different. Despite training, education and warning, I somehow imagined cleaning, organizing and setting up a warm learning environment would be a quicker process. There have been a couple 7:30-7:30 days with two of us working our tails off. Despite that part, I am loving how it's coming together. The room that I thought was small and shoddy (albeit, only by Dalton does have windows after all), is beginning to look open and beautiful. Now it just needs some bright, energetic children to fill it up.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007



This weekend, Jason and I ventured out to Newport beach for my cousin Ady's wedding. Getting together with my mom's side of the family is a big deal. Not that the Nicolai side isn't wonderful, but the Reeves (for the most part) live out West so we don't "hang out" nearly enough. Weddings are one of the few chances for us all to get together... Ady looked gorgeous. Jono did too put you can't quite see him in this cake shot.

The Big 9. My mother and two of her siblings have families of three girls. Her oldest brother is responsible for the only male cousin, Trevor. He's always been the older, wiser, and let's just face it, cooler cousin (his wife helps with the cooler part too). Growing up there were 9 girls, within a ten year range, making trouble. My sisters and I, the "NY" cousins, are easy to pick out because we aren't blond.

My perfect date.

Angelique, Claire and LaRisse...The oldest from each "set".

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


In 3rd grade, Michelle always wanted to try on my glasses. I loved that someone thought those pink plastic frames were cool. Sadly my eyes improved and wearing my glasses actually ruined hers. But ever since then we've been best friends.
In the years since we've done everything together. Well not literally everything...but figuratively.
And now I'm thrilled to announce...she's engaged. Michelle's fabulous boyfriend Pete is now going to be her husband. Congratulations guys. We love you both!

Life's Full of Tough Choices

I was 7 when the Little Mermaid came out. Even at that young age I felt the prophetic nature of Ursala's statement, "Life's full of tough choices, idn't it?" I'm mostly sure she was referring to Arielle's choice between staying a mermaid or becoming a human to woo prince Eric.

Like Arielle, I too have a major decision to make. Gray is one of big fall fashion colors and I deeply want (probably need) gray, suede peep-toe pumps. I'd also be happy with wedges. And may prefer closed toe...
Here are today's 2 front runners.

Found at In person they may be blah...but I like the wedge and peep-toe. Is it a faux pas to wear peep-toe in November?

Aldo. I haven't purchased a pair of Aldo shoes in a long time because I feel like they always hurt my feet....
This is a truer gray and I like the heel.

Friday, August 17, 2007

In The Club

5 minutes into our (slightly unnerving) adventure and Nate points out that we are not in a somewhat exclusive club. At the time, I thought it was sweet that Nate was staying so positive...but now, I realize, he was right! Not only are we in the "Stuck in an elevator club", but Nate, Margy, Oliver, Todd, Jason and I are in the "Stuck in an Elevator and Climb Out to Freedom Club". Talk about exclusive.

A few Sundays ago, we visited Nate, Ashley and Leo for some Nintendo and a tender goodbye. Nate generously offers to drive us back to 111th. Upon entering the elevator, the door closes behind me, two seconds of regular ride and bang, we're dropping. I don't know how I was the only one screaming! It's true we only dropped for 5 seconds but it was long enough to decide I was plummeting to my death.
First rational decision, use the emergency call box. No go. The woman who answered couldn't seem to hear us over a pre-recorded message the elevator was playing. And she may not have heard us but we heard her getting pretty frustrated.
Nate made the major decisions. I don't want to speak for the rest of the group, especially not the men, but I know I was shaken up and basically waiting to be rescued. Guess there's a little damsel-in-distress in me.

(Oliver looks too good to be stuck in an elevator. Todd looks very happy. Margy had a good "stuck in an elevator" face.)
Next Paul, the super. I guess he lives next door because he showed up quick. We
heard him at the bottom of the shaft, and called down to him what floor we're on. A few minutes more and we hear Paul fiddling with the doors...the creak of the outer doors being pried open and then his fingers working through to pull open the inner door.

Beaming with pride and delight, Paul finally got the doors open. Then holding up a little tool (check the picture), said something like, "I'm not supposed to have this but I got it from the manufactured downtown." (If anyone remembers more exactly what he said, let me know). This angle is a bit deceiving. Paul is crouching down and we now have to climb through a three foot gap. My concern for how I was going to maneuver out with my weak upper body must have shown on my face, but before any words were exchanged from the trapped crew, Nate immediately got on all fours like a stool (what a guy!). We all stepped up and wiggled out to the safe hallway.

I believe Nate's calm stems from a combination of the following factors....
a. He possibly felt a little responsible that we were stuck in "his" elevator. We didn't feel this way but the elevator was more his, than ours.
b. He's in the national guard/army and is trained to handle emergencies.
c. He was stuck in an elevator before, on his mission in Russia. Talk about exclusive, he's in the club twice.
d. He's a calm, rational guy.

(Nate climbing to safety)
1. I'm mostly sure Paul told us he locked the elevator or something that made us feel safe climbing through this little gap. If something had moved...well, I'm not even getting into that.
2. It felt like an hour but we clocked in at about 20 minutes from drop to out.
3. If someone had taken guesses on how far we dropped, I would have gone with 10 feet....realistically it was probably only 2-3.
4. This is another example of life is much easier with cellular phones.
5. Although I was nervous and teary at first. This does make a good story.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Moral Dilemma (or not)

I'm wrestling with my conscience over what may be a "non-issue".

Last week we sent our laundry out for a quick wash and fold before our trip. While putting it away and into our suitcases, I came across a cotton dress with the whites that I have never seen before. It's modest, simple, comfortable, my size...but not technically mine.

What should I do? What are my moral obligation? I called the cleaners to ask if anyone has called in for it. "Not yet" do I bring back the dress to sit and wait on a potential call? Or do I adopt it and care for it as my own?

What to do? What to do?

I've got friends......but they're not in low places

Now that my wife has had some time to "cool down" after this encounter.......

...we are ready to tell you about an incredible day. I will let the pictures do most of the talking. Yes. That is Johnny Damon signing a baseball for Erica. We figured we would let Bobby Abreu sign it too. We got Shelley Duncan (my favorite Yankee) to sign as well, but I wasn't quick enough to get a pic. Although Erica did try to kiss him on the cheek (wish I had a photo of that).
Two side notes from the wifey. 1. I've always prided myself on not being a groupie...or infatuated with hunky celebs. Standing a foot away from Johnny Damon and exchanging friendly pleasantries, sent that pride out the window. He's dreamy. (Check out the arm muscles...and that's just the forearm!!) 2. Shelly Duncan is also cute and very tall. For the record, I did not try to kiss on the cheek, although I am fairly confident that I could have gotten away with smooching a rookie. All that happened was I touched his arm. When I did this, Lisa D giggles, "Aren't you getting personal? Why don't you just give him a kiss." And I say, already with my arm around him for a picture, "I know my limits." Shelley was chuckling. I probably should have taken the opportunity when I had it.

A few days ago one of Erica's friends (and when I say friend, I mean one of her best friends since childhood) invited us to join her and some of her family to Yankee Stadium with on-field passes for batting practice. An incredible experience that we will always be grateful to Michelle and her family for. But hold on.... it gets even better. I did not know that part of this day would include a visit to Mr. George Steinbrenner's office.

I have a picture to prove it.

Don't tell him, but I sat at his desk.

Erica and I couldn't pass up the chance to sit in the leather glove in the office. Notice the Yankee curtains. There was also an impressive Yankee logo in the carpet. The door in the background leads directly to his luxury suite to watch the game.

This is Lonn A. Tros, COO for the Yankees. He came in to tell us about the new Yankee Stadium that is currently under construction. Afterwards Erica asked if she could take his picture. Just as she was about to snap the shot, she asks if he would put his hands up so that we can see the rings. Guess she wanted to get a good look at those monster World Series Rings. Everyone in the room had a good laugh at the request. Thanks to Mr. Tros for modeling his rings!

Growing up all I wanted to do was play professional baseball. I didn't exactly make it that far, but this day was about as close as you can get.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Years ago I saw "The Story of Us" with Michelle Pheiffer and Bruce Willis...and loved it. One of my very favorite movies, at least in that era. The opening scene is the family of four is sitting around the table, eating dinner and doing "high and low". Each member of the family, in turn, tells a high and a low of their day. I'm going to do a little mid-day high low.

1. I met Jason for a quick lunch. I had diet coke and mcnuggets. Even with all the delish eateries in NYC, sometimes nothing beats McD's nuggets.
2. We're going to the Yankee game tonight with my best friend since 4th grade and her fun family. The best part is we have on-field tickets to watch batting practice. On a scale of 1-10, this is a 7.5 to an average baseball fan like me. There's a point deduction for being three hours early and then watching the entire game...6 hours of baseball is slightly daunting. Jason is probably at a 9.25 . It's fun to see him so excited.

1. Having to unpack from our trip. Fortunately we washed everything in Utah but still, putting it all away is daunting.
2. I got another parking ticket. This brings my summer total up to four. I plead my way out of one, payed the next, and am confident the bike ticket will be dismissed, if there is still any justice in this city. This one was really a slap in the face. I met Tarika at Bank St. to plan for the upcoming school year and left the car around the corner in a no parking from 11-12:30 zone. At 10:55 I left our meeting and as I rounded the corner the traffic cop was getting back in her car. My cell phone displayed 11:01 and the electronically printed ticket had exactly 11:00 on it...which means, girlfriend was entering the ticket information before 11:00. Really, can I live?

Must See

If there is one particulare genre of movie that I enjoy more than all the rest it would have to be war movies. Not entirely sure why that is, but I went to see Rescue Dawn last week. Simply put, I highly recommend that this movie immediately be moved to the top of your "must see" list. Many times the tag line "based on a true story" can be a warning for an overly dramatized rendition of a story that is no longer indicitive of the event being portrayed. Not the case here.
Plot Line from IMDb: This film tells the real-life story of U.S. fighter pilot Dieter Dengler, a German-American shot down and captured in Laos during the Vietnam War. Dengler organized a death-defying escape for a small band of POWs, including Duane Martin

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Yankee Candles

By nature, Harlem isn't the best smelling place. And despite frequent dumpster trips, if our trash is in our hot apartment just a couple hours too long, a suspicious smell develops. Candles are our best defense. I strongly prefer Yankee Candles because I am comfortable with the smell strength and am excited by the different fragrances and how they're always arranged chromatically. Our favorite summer scent is Vanilla-Lime.

Since I'm talking about candles I'll tell one of my favorite Harlem-life stories. Six months ago at a winter clear-out sale at Bed, Bath and Beyond I snagged a practically free Molasses scented candle. It was a not-so-subtle fragrance but it smelled so good, we lit it anyway and enjoyed our entire apartment smelling like syrup. One day after school our UPS man, James, came up with a package. James is mid-30s, big and tall, and extremely friendly. I open the door and while I'm signing for the package he leans through the door a little, looks at me with a knowing look, and says, "What? You eating waffles." A smile crossed my face, "Nope just our candle".

The best part is the embedded meaning in James' simple "what". The context, the tone...I believe a full pragmatic analysis would translate "what" to "I figured out what you're up to".

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

sugar coated

apparently my blog is making people sick. in the past week, two complaints have rolled in. the first was in an email from raph (congratulations on the blog mention), he wants a little more "reality" and not all this "puppies and kittens" stuff. sorry to admit, i semi-ignored the request...laughing it off as "typical raph".

then tonight during my bi-monthly phone call with my older sister, i'm told my blog is too sugar coated. i believe, if my ears are clean, that i'm giving angelique a toothache. i quip back, "yeah but it's funny right." to which she half-heartily agrees and goes on to explain that it seems that i try to come off as nice and that i don't need to gush so much about jason, as if i'm writing to my mother-in-law. as she explains this in a kind, half-joking way (and if you know angelique, you know the exact manner i'm referring to), i'm wondering "does this mean my sister doesn't think i'm sincerely nice."

in my defense i post from the heart so if my blog is cheesy, i must be cheesy. i am the girl that made a three pages list of "Things to be Happy About" during college and frequently read it. perhaps i have a candy coated disposition. if that seems to be the case, i must confess i'm mostly warhead, a little sugar on the outside and a tart inside.

ask yourself this, is stepping on a rat sweet? i think not. what am i to post? the conversation arose when i put her on hold to help jason locate something (for the second time in two minutes) and then complained that he is allergic to looking. this is true. we have a 400 square foot apartment that we've lived in for over a year and jason still doesn't know where we keep things. this frustrates me to no end but is mostly funny. the same way, several times a week jason holds up an item from the drying rack and asks, "erica, did you wash this _____?" which really means "this one is still dirty...could you be more attentive when doing the dishes." both frustrating and funny, which would probably translate into a mostly funny post.

this much i know is true, the post i was saving to write next week about how much i love my sisters, isn't going to air. i mean what could be more rainbows and puppies than singing the praises of your lovely sisters. i wish i were joking...i already had the pictures selected.

pesonal bests

Jason and I had a very busy week and weekend. Amidst the business, some recorders were set.
Our family, the Gardner side, came to visit...and Farmington based friends came with them. It was fun providing directions, showing around (although we didn't do too much), and oh course eating with everyone. They got in late Wednesday night and left Sunday.

The two records set while they were here were
1. People in our apartment: 15
There weren't really enough places for everyone to sit but they got to experience how we live. The tiny space certainly isn't ideal but I enjoy knowing we'll never live somewhere this small again. It's only up from here.

2. Broadway shows seen in one week: 3
Jason and I went to see Spring Awakening with friends from A Dalton Summer. This year the new and (understandably) controversial musical won 8 Tony's, including best musical. Spring Awakening is the story of young teenagers in Germany late 1800s, focusing on morality, sexuality, and angst. We liked the edgy rock music and the acting was unbelievable.
Thursday we saw Jersey Boys, which I can say is my favorite show of all time. It's the behind the scenes story of Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons..."ask four guys, get four different answers." The audience was giving standing Os in the middle of the show! (There's sample music that plays on the website). If you can tolerate the "authentic, profane Jersey vocabulary" (read:f-bombs) get tickets now.
And then Friday, while Jason was at his second Yankee game in two days, I saw Mary Poppins. All the hype about the sets is accurate. I kept thinking "how did they do that?", "where did he come from?", and "how did they her up there?". The dance #s were incredible and the large cast which 'em even more fun.

Monday, August 06, 2007

handbag happenings

picture it... 5:00 monday afternoon, and i'm sitting waiting to see if my doctor did in fact fax my referral to get physical therapy underway. i'm ready to bend my elbow again. an adorable young mom pushes a stroller in and begins talking to the receptionist. she's wearing a green and black summer dress, perfect bronze sandals, and has her dark hair is a loose braid. one of those perfect "i just threw this on" looks. i hear that she's british, which made her even more adorable.

she sits down a seat away from me and after several minute, with a cute english accent, asks, "is that this season?" i quickly glance around thinking, "what is she talking about?" and my eyes linger on my bag. ahhhhh.

it is imperative that i mention when she came strolling in i immediately noticed the bag draped over her stroller, a goyard. what seems to be this season's it bag. the basic style, a no lining/no pocket tote starts (i believe) around $800. they all have a similar "y" pattern on them and some nice colors. there is just something so opulent about paying that much for a flimsy tote.

what do i say? this friendly fashionista thinks my favorite bag is a real dolce and gabbana. i must admit i feel a quick flash of pride before deciding to tell the truth. "actually" i say, "i got this in china town at the beginning of summer, but usually chinatown does have the designers recent styles." she went on to say how fabulously real it looked...and after a few more pleasantries, she whisked off with her physical therapist, leaving me beaming at my bag.

an ironic side dinner last night, jason broke one of the handles of this bag. i may be heading back to china town before the summer is out.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Did you hear? We went to Spain...

One of the biggest "start your blog" motivators was wanting to share pictures from our trip to Spain. We celebrated our first year together in Madrid, Seville, and Barcelona. Yet the task of sorting, editing, selecting, saving, uploading, captioning, etc proved too tedious. But before we utter another word about what's going on currently, we're airing Spain.

Welcome to MADRID
We arrived at the Madrid airport 4 hour
s later then scheduled after a Seinfeld-esque delay and hopped into a cab for The Westin Palace. I need to take a moment to praise Jason 's planning and hotel selection. The amount of time we had in each city was perfect and the hotels were unreal. There's nothing I like better than being spoiled at a fancy hotel. When we got there, our room wasn't ready so we left our bags and headed over to the Prado (a 5 minute walk).
Jason wowed me with his art history knowledge and we saw some famous works of art. The main entrance is under construction so we had to use this side entrance.

Madrid's largest post office is on one corner of the plaza de Cibeles. It's known as the "Palacio de las comunicaciones" (communications palace, duh?) but is lovingly nick named The Wedding Cake.

Even the streets are beautiful.
We fell in love with the old world feel. Look closely here and you'll see the Museo del Jamon on the left....and this is what it looks like inside. The people of Spain LOVE ham. They eat it cured, sausaged, ham sandwiched...LOVE it.

Plaza Mayor is the main square in Madrid built in 1619 by Felipe III, which is why a statue of him stands in the middle. Much Spanish history was lived in this center: bullfights, fires, royal pageantry (like inaugurating kings), and the public punishments imposed by the Inquisition.
By the way, the sky was this picturesque for entire time in Madrid.It took Jason a little while to warm up to Spanish cuisine. To cushion the fall into the world of tapas, we had ice cream for lunch every day (balanced out with miles of walking) and this was the one MickyD's stop (we were in desperate need of a fountain soda). Ah the joy that comes from a familiar hamburger.
We toured the Royal Palace, the official residence of His Majesty The King of Spain, who makes use of it for official ceremonies but doesn't actually reside there. Although his earlier constituents, Charles III did, and we saw the room he ate breakfast in, the room he ate lunch in, and of course his dinner suite. All much larger than his exactly did they run that empire?

A fountain on the side of palace and the most gorgeous lamp post I've ever seen.

Jason mastered the public transportation so we took a subway out North of the city to check out the Madrid temple. There was a MTC on site, although we didn't see any missionaries...or other people around for that matter. Nothing beats the peaceful feeling that accompanies temple grounds.

Just in case you haven't heard, soccer is kind of a big deal in Spain. Make that the biggest deal ever. Think rich history, hundreds of awards and titles, and high revenue. On our very busy day (notice the same clothes in all the pictures? all the activity afforded our ice cream lunches) we did a self-guided tour of the Real Madrid stadium. We went through various seating levels (120,000 seats), the field, saw where the spot where Tomkat and Posh sit when they come to cheer on Mr.Beckham, and a museum which helped me begin to understand the level of pride associated with this team.

And that was Madrid. We took the AVE (super fast, comfy train) to Seville...and those pictures are coming soon.