Saturday, August 30, 2008

so, a birthday

i'm turning another year older on today. the weird thing is that most my friends are older than me and when people ask how old i am i keep saying, "28" and then follow it with, "no, wait, sorry. i'm 27, i'll be 28 in august." why i've been so anxious to add another digit is beyond me.

for the long weekend i've headed upstate where we'll hopefully make a pit stop in ithaca where i can go to my beloved viva and eat their magnificent taco salad with salsa buttermilk dressing. on our way up, we stopped a chick-fil-a and sang mariah's "all I want for Christmas" on the way up. in other words, sucessful so far!

at work today I was surprised by my favorite entemanns doughnuts and we rode the carousel at bryant park. bonus points to the operator for not laughing at us. Ive never been so old but felt so young.   

otherwise, it'll be lounging on the lake, eating katie's mom's chocolate chip cookies and who knows what the guys and gals have in store for the birthday itself. that's information i'm not privy to but i sure hope it includes ice cream cake. not sure which of  my friends if any read the blog but coughmintchocolatechipcough.

looking back, this year was a fantastic one. full of great parties, THE MACHINE THAT FOREVER CHANGED MY LIFE more commonly known as the iphone, the lasik that also changed my life in ways i couldn't have imagined, amazing new clothes, obama-rockin', some beautiful weekends, steady work and lots of time with some of the greatest friends a girl could ask for. i'm just lucky and happy and grateful. not a bad place to be.

now to fit in all the traveling (and attempting to budget it): i have san fran booked in september, i want to fit in australia in feb. i have a wedding in turks and caicos in may and i'm trying to get to hong kong in august. i'm tired just thinking about it...

in other news piu! (who i actually have no idea is still blogging, if i can't put it in my reader i don't read it and hers is private) has moved to this fine city of mine so we'll finally get to meet after a couple years of e-mailing.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Fuck yeah

That speech touched my soul. Period.

If that man is unreal. Magnificent, really.

Sent from my iPhone

blue hill at stone barns

i've been wanting to go to blue hill at stone barns for quite some time. it is what it sounds like: a restaurant in a barn, on a farm. most of the things they serve you they grow and slaughter themselves. for instance, the egg you're served soft atop roasted tomatoes and mixed beans will be plucked from underneath the chicken that morning. they literally call it, "this morning's egg." dan barber (the chef) has a resturant in the city but it's just not the same. conversely, leaving the city (especially without a car) is always a bit of a palaver. but i'd decided that this year, for my birthday, i was going to take myself. i briefly considered eating alone and thought, "i don't want to travel 45 minutes from manhattan by myself so late at night" on the other hand, dinner there is wicked expensive and i didn't want to ask anyone else to spend that kind of money. solution: ask someone and pay for them myself. and who better to go with than justy, my partner in all culinary adventures. my go-to guy for when i get a first night resy at whatever hot spot there is. he always goes with me and who knows if he always wants to spend the money we end up spending at these trendy spots so it seemed just as well that i treat him for going on such an excursion with me. of course, he said he wasn't going to let me pay. and of course i shut up about it and, when justy stepped off to the bathroom,  gave the waiter my card with explicit instructions to let me, and only me, pay.

the train out to tarrytown was painless and quick. cabs waiting at the trainstation to zip you over to the farm. the room is cavernous but still manages to seem cozy and sleek at the same time.

the tragedy of the evening was the absolute darkness in which we ate. it was not conducive to any type of photo taking, no matter how much i slowed my shutter down or opened my aperture up. thus, i don't remember half the amuse bouches they brought (there were many, possibly as many as 8). i don't remember all the accompaniments to the meats (and often had a hard time seeing them). and they were aware of the darkness as justin was given a mini flashlight (one of those little guys you pinch that you sometimes find on keychains) in order to peruse the wine list.

service was impeccable. i don't exaggerate when i say there were 3 people whose sole job it was to watch us and make sure there was nothing we needed, that our water glasses were never more than 1/3rd empty. it was weird being watched so. also, the "head" watcher was taking notes. jotting down times perhaps in order to decide how he wanted to course our meal. maybe to keep track of how many times we chewed before we swallowed. it is a mystery. what i do know is that they were delicate, unobtrusive and we didn't once need anything or look around to ask anyone for anything. whatever we needed just appeared. magic!

justin and i are huge fans for pork belly and so a 1x1inch cube with crispy delightful skin on top was what made me moan loud enough for the people at both tables to hear. other tables on each side of us were getting different foods, which was interesting but also a bit annoying and something i'll have to ask about next time i go. we had turkey, which was fine and good and i was happy with it until i heard the magic words "ricotta gnocchi" being spoken to the table to my right. my eyes grew wide. "did you hear that?!" i whisper to justin. "no," he responds. "they just got ricotta gnocchi! i LOVE ricotta gnocchi!" but alas, no gnocchi was to be found at our table. i thought that maybe they were vegetarians but then they got a fish dish that we also didn't get. so maybe they're that type of vegetarians that eat fish. i'm not sure what that's called but it must have a name. desserts went the same way. someone to my left had something with blueberries. i got some boring chocolate budino. it was a good budino, but it's hard to mess up a chocolate cake with molten center.

it was also an educational trip. we were exposed to the 13 most popular tomato varieties they grow (of 35, i think) and were shown around a tray and had each one described to us. also, heirloom tomatoes just taste so good. makes me not want to eat any other kind but then i remember i NEED tomatoes in my salad and that i can't expect the deli to carry heirlooms and that i should stop being such an elitist.

we had a 9pm resy but wanted to catch the 12:12 train back to the city and even though i didn't check my watch once, the dinner moved seamlessly, we weren't rushed and there was a cab waiting at midnight to take us to the train station. a perfect, though expensive evening. next time i need to go during the day. get a tour, see the animals, be able to enjoy the view from inside the restaurant (which had mostly glass walls.

so i highly recommend this place. also, it makes me feel like i never want to go to ko again. spending the same amount of money for absolutely zero service now seems like the biggest joke ever. peace out chang. i heart you but i'm sticking to ssam bar.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

john kerry being amazing at the convention

i wrote that last post pre-the wednesday night speeches.

not sure how widely televised it was, but john kerry's speech was EXACTLY what i've been wanting to hear.

"i have known and been friends with john mccain for almost 22 years but everyday now i learn something new about candidate mccain. to those who still believe in the myth of a maverick instead of the reality of a politician, i say lets compare senator mccain to candidate mccain:

candidate mccain now supports the very wartime tax cuts that senator mccain once called irresponsible.
candidate mccain criticizes senator mccain's own climate change bill.
candidate mccain would vote against the immigration bill that senator mccain wrote.

are you kidding me folks?! talk about being for it before you're against it! let me tell you, before he ever debates barack obama, john mccain should finish the debate with him self. and what's more, senator mccain, who once railed against the smears of karl rove when he was a target, has morphed into candidate mccain who is using the same rove tactics, the same rove staff, the same old politics of fear and smear. well, not this year, not this time. the rove/mccain tactics are old and outworn and america will reject them in 2008."

fuck yeah!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

a bit on politics: kind of rant and ravey

re: vp, i wanted to like sebelius. and i know she's done/is doing great work in her state but i'm consistently disappointed by her public appearances. i'd say that shouldn't matter but it does. a whole hell of a lot. public perception is everything in this game. in fact, it's probably the only reason mccain still polls over 40%, because he looks tough, experienced and acts like the straight shooter he purports himself to be (regardless of whether i find his whiny little nasally voice completely irritating and think it makes him sound like a pedophile). i'm okay with biden. i think he and obama will get along swimmingly. they're both cocky/arrogant as hell but they both have the brains and the humility to back it up. neither of them knows what it means to own 7-10 houses. they have good families and i like their wives. also, i love a good doodie joke.

this race is close for some reason and i don't understand why the MSM isn't highlighting the insanity of it. we're talking about a really old, possibly sick dude who, in the past 5 years, has changed his position (i thought the MSM loved flip-flops! oh, wait, only when dems do it? really? that's strange...) on almost every single platform issue he has. so we've got all these people who've heard that mccain believes X and other people thinking mccain supports X's polar-opposite. and they're both right, he's believed both. and nobody seems to have a problem with this? these are people in ignorance bubbles. he has no idea what to do with the economy. and even in foreign policy, where his supposed expertise lies, he can't even remember which countries exist and which factions we've been in a war with for the last 5 years. leahy needs to talk louder, MSM can't hear him. he supports a position on iraq that not even the bush administration or the iraqi government supports any longer.

oh wait, does he support a timeline now that everyone else does? the one he so ridiculed obama for? frankly, i can't be bothered to look up whether he's for it or against it because however he feels, it'll probably change in a few weeks time. he's leaf in the wind, this dude. whichever way the wind blows...

i'd love it if the MSM started noticing. they'll probably continue to take a blind eye, FTW. but srsly, the repubs play on a completely different plane. they're always stupid and nasty so the media doesn't even realize it anymore. i mean, the indicted-for-bribery ted (the internet is a series of tubes) stevens won his freaking primary! oh, right. i forgot. republicans have no regard for the law and don't care about crime unless it has to do with some dude being gay because gayness? SO MUCH WORSE than, say, attempted rape.

i'm finding myself having less and less patience with republicans. i used to take them all with a grain of salt, tell myself we're each entitled to our own opinions. my grandparents are republicans and they still loved and took care of me so i owe it to them not to chide them too much for it. and i used to mentally segment out fiscal republicans from social republicans. "if you don't want to be taxed so much, and you think the gov't is putting to waste the money you are giving them, okay. i get that and i don't entirely disagree." and really i'd save my hate for those social republicans. "oh, you vote republican because you're anti-choice? and don't like gays? oh, and you're really super religious, huh? well too bad you're probably going to hell." but lately, my patience has worn thin. i think it's just the urgency of now. the fact that the environment is in a terribly perilous state, that the economy is just a shit-hole, that we're STILL in this goddamn war. i just don't see any excuse, whatsoever, for you to vote for a GOPer. we have more important things to worry about than your tax dollars, which btw, you'll probably pay less of under obamas tax plan than mccains, fwiw.

so that's where i'm at right now. carry on!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

photos of turkey!

first morning waking up on the boat

everybody sleeping up top


butterfly valley: hippie haven!


captain fishing for lunch

our friend, the crepe lady

inside the blue mosque

spice market

hagia sofia

view from galata tower

blue mosque

geese! hanging out in sultanhamet

Monday, August 25, 2008

turkey: istanbul!

istanbul had a rocky start. not really the fault of such a lovely city but more the fact that we still had sea legs so everything rocked back and forth. rocked while standing. rocked while sitting at dinner. rocked especially badly when lying down for bed. also, the boat had gotten us used to this certain lifestyle that had nothing to do with thinking. at all. about anything.

we woke up with the sun, ate when captain rang the bell and food was brought out, went to bed when we were tired. i had cell service all over "the med" but no internet so had my phone off the entire time. (in retrospect, i should have turned it on a few times because i neglected to tell the family i was leaving the country and my grandma flipped her shit when she couldn't get a hold of me. i had a text message from my brother, "what's up with your phone" when i turned the thing back on so i knew something was wrong because my brother NEVER calls me. turns out he was doing grandma's bidding.)

but anyway, our bed and breakfast was cute. sickeningly cute. and it felt like we were staying in someone's obscenely tasteful abode. which i suppose is the point of bed and breakfasts but this one was really lovely. breakfasts were solid and the A/C was strong so we were happy. we had a bedroom and a sitting room so it felt like our own little pied-a-terre.

moving and walking and thinking and planning, was utterly exhausting. also, it was hot. stifling. so our first day we headed off, i made sure to bring a scarf for my head in mosque-prep. we waited in lines, took off our shoes and spent about 15 minutes in the blue mosque. we skipped the ayasofia, even though it's one of the seven wonders of the medieval world. mostly because the line was some 2 hours and they were charging 20 lire to get in. also, did i mention it was hot? and looking back, i don't really regret not waiting because we only had a brief two days anyhow and had too much to pack in as it was.

immediately, my favorite thing was listening to the "call to prayer" that rang out throughout the city. it was beautiful and it's what made me really feel like was in a completely foreign place. colin and i looked at each other and sighed contentedly every time we heard it. we hit up the grand bazaar which was a freaking palaver. there are like 5 types of things that people sell (lamps, leather coats, rugs, dishware, jewelry). now imagine some 600 venders all selling one of those 5, and put them all in a building the size of 2 square city blocks but make sure you arrange them all as a maze so once you enter the building, it's just impossible to leave. THEN imagine people yelling at you and following you around to try to scare you into buying their shit. and let's say you did like a lamp. one guy would quote you 15 lire and another would quote you 45 for that same lamp 10 feet away. i felt overwhelmed. so did colin. we had headaches when we left. it was still hot out. and the world was STILL rocking.

the spice market was better in the sense that it was more open and we were less harassed. it was smaller and we were able to pick up some things and find our way out in a jiffy. we stopped to refresh at a cafe, were given the wi-fi password upon placing our order (convenient!) and got ready for dinner. dinner was in beyoglu, the trendy modern part of istanbul located on the north bank of the city. beyoglu is where all shopping and eating should be done. period. it's less touristy and that's where people who live in istanbul hang out. we were lucky enough to be put in touch with a friend of a friend of mine. she's a totally famous actress on turkey's most popular television show. a tiny girl with sharp features and lots of dirty blond hair, think: sarah jessica parker. so she's all hip and trendy and steered us in all the right places when it came to food. we met up with her for lunch the next day and it was fun to watch all the people do double takes, all the ladies nudge each other and discreetly point to her when we sat down. no paparazzi, though it would have been hilarious. after lunch she took us through a guided tour of the hood, showing us all the cute places and secret things we'd have never known about otherwise.

that afternoon we turkish-bathed it at cemberlitas, turkey's supposedly cleanest hamam. and i will vouch for the cleanliness though the process itself was crazy and i giggled through half of it. colin was sent to the boy area and i headed off to the female side. i was given a towel and a box and shown to a locker where i stored my stuff. i was guided to a big open steam room with a huge, round, knee-high marble slab took up 80% of the room. there were faucets in cubbies along the perimeter of the room. i was let to sit and sweat for 15 minutes then called over by one of the scrubbers. the scrubbers are huge fat naked ladies. like, their boobs were not only bigger than mine (and that's saying something) they were pretty much bigger than my whole head. so this huge woman takes my box and pulls a scrubbing mitt out of it and starts at me. i'm watching all these dark grey things appear on my skin. know what that is kids? it's layers of my dead skin being scraped off my body. it was gross! and totally AWESOME. she flipped me over and made sure to get both sides. then gave me a sudsy rubdown and then rinsed me by the faucets. i was then guided to a quiet dark room where i was pulled to a massage table and given a 40 minute massage which ended with the woman talking baby-talk to me and playing with my ears. it was all very strange. then she told me i had a nice body. also weird. colin's experience wasn't so gentle. he was totally manhandled, scrubbed raw, they twisted his body all up and cracked him all over. i was SO jealous. then his big fat man hugged colin's head into his huge man-boobs and put a turban on his head. colin, of course, left it on long enough to snap a photo with his iphone in the bathroom later, thank god.

shopping was done, another good meal had and we were off the next morning. the town itself is sweet and picturesque. cats abound. literally you can't walk 5 feet without seeing a cat. and i'd call them strays, but they're not. people feed them and treat them as pets, just outdoor pets that you don't have to clean up after. it's really odd. but everyone sits outside and socializes. kids run through the streets. laundry hangs outside, peoples windows and doors are left open. it's just big ol' small town at heart.

i would have liked to spend a few more days there. i would have liked to spend a good month or so traveling the rest of the country. and i will, someday. but next! australia!

pictures to follow...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

turkey: the cruise

ed note: pictures will be posted once i download them...

getting there was a bit of a palaver. our plane to CDG was 5 hours delayed so we missed our connection to IST and also our flight to the southern coast for our cruise. however, we did fly there in first class so were greeted with glasses of champagne and had fully reclining seats that we played with endlessly, making everyone around us think we must have been near 12 years old. also, everyone kept referring to us as a couple, him as my husband, me as his wife. on the plane we met a guy whom we called aspergers (any name used herein, assume to be a nickname. everyone on this trip was given one by either colin or i), some boy in his very early 20's who just walked up to us out of nowhere and asked us how long we'd been together, how long we were staying in paris, and what our favorite west village restaurants were. he would yell things across the first class cabin to his parents, "mom! they've never been to scarpetta! can you believe that?" (she couldn't.) he stayed for about 20 minutes yelling restaurant names to and fro between us and his parents in back. strange boy. thankfully once we landed, we quickly caught other flights (mostly by the skin of our teeth and possibly due to a few we also dropped mentions of "our honeymoon" several times to airline desk agents to make sure we got the flights out we needed) and got into fethiye around 10pm.

fethiye is a bit touristy and kitschy with a large marina stuffed to the gills with sailboats. we were escorted to ours by our driver and were shown to not-the-nicest but still fine boat halfway down a dock. on the ship was a teddy bear of a man, the captain, bald head, who grunted plenty but spoke no english (or very little, through the duration of the trip we counted about 20 words he knew). his wife, babushka, a squat chubby lady with short curly hair and a perma-smile on her face. she brought us to our room, a musty thing down below and explained to us how to shower (there was an expandable shower head that also functioned as the sink faucet, you literally stood in the middle of the bathroom and showered there), not to throw toilet paper in the toilet, and that the outlets and lights would stop working about 2 hours after the engine had been shut off.

with that, colin and i dropped our stuff and wandered through the bazaar in town. stopped at a place for dinner that had a rooftop terrace. the owner swaggared through like a proud papa, checking on everyone about every 5 minutes, eagerly inquiring if we were still okay? if we were really truly enjoying ourselves? the people were lovely and our waiter brought us some shot that tasted like a banana smoothie for dessert, gratis. on the way back home we heard madonna blaring from a rooftop bar. "could it be?" colin and i asked each other, hoping that we'd found a fethiye gay bar. however, we headed up to a lot of people smoking hookahs or just being otherwise quite lame. how does one listen to madonna and justin timberlake and NOT get up and dance? that is the question. we stayed and ordered a few long island iced teas anyhow. once back on the boat (which wasn't leaving until the next morning) we immediately decided the room was too stuffy to sleep in and brought our blankets up on deck to sleep under the stars. i desperately needed a shower but the lights were already off on the boat. i feebly tried to give myself some light with the flashlight function of my iphone propped up on the windowsill. the thing made me giggle endlessly and my own stupidity. i joined colin up top and we arose with the sun and some roosters. i'd literally never heard a rooster at dawn before in my life. i felt as if i were in a movie.

at ten, we were told the rest of the passengers would arrive. colin and i fantasized that they'd all be cool people from all parts of the globe. "i want some brits!" he said. "i want some spaniards!" half an hour later colin says, "um, i see a gaggle of americans headed this way." (if you've never traveled outside the country, trust me when i say you can always spot americans from 300 yards.) and sure enough, they headed onto the boat. where were they from? if you guessed NYC, give yourself a gold star. they were all recent law school grads even. wtf. two other couples rounded out our crew: one from south africa (dale and wendy, whom we absolutely adored!) and another made up of a mid-40's californian dude (an independently wealthy sommelier) and his girlfriend (a chubby brazilian who wore swimsuits 3 sizes too small who seemed kind of dumb but who we found out later was a pulmonary cardiologist. who knew?!).

and off we went! we island and coastline hopped taking time to swim a few times a day in different spots. in more popular locales you'd find little boats pulling alongside yours selling ice cream or banana and nutella crepes. captain and babushka have a daughter, skipper, who was 14. babushka turned out to be a phenomenal cook. our breakfast spreads were amazing: baked eggs, bread, nutella, a few kinds of cheeses, a couple types of olives, some tomatoes and cucumbers, coffee and tea. lunches and dinners were salads, pastas and fish. in the mid-afternoon, we had tea and cookies. most impressive was captain getting out a spear gun at night and jumping in to kill the fish we'd eat for the next day. dude is hardcore.

the lawyers actually turned out to be a lot of fun and we'll certainly see them again here in new york. a blond surfer dude who was going to clerk in miami, a cute one i LOVED named ben who had a girlfriend (of course), a dorky couple, a quiet latino who maybe said 2 words the entire trip, a tall langy gay dude who was so funny and a tall dark haired/big bearded one whom his friends called "muslim." muslim had eaten intestine in istanbul (BAD IDEA) and was sick for the first day and a half we were on the boat. captain heard his friends call him muslim and thought it was hilarious. "moo-SLIM!" he'd yell, and ask for a thumbs up or down to see how he was feeling. or to see if he wanted to swim. or if he wanted a beer. we probably heard "moo-SLIM!" yelled out about once an hour. and we laughed every goddamn time. it was the joke that never got old.

everywhere we went, the water was an unreal color blue or teal. it was clear as glass and i think if you'd dropped a quarter in an area 30 feet deep, you'd see it gleaming back up at you. our favorite spot was butterfly valley. a small rocky beach, filled with tents and all lying within this huge gorge. swimming to the beach you saw a stucco hut where just beyond lay a hippie haven. a cafe with a canopy of grapevines, a bar and a small kitchen. hammocks lined the perimeter and pot wafted in the air. people dance and played bongos and some guy was braiding and beading people's hair. basically, it was a hilariously awesome tucked away little oasis and i wished i could have spent a couple weeks there.

evenings were spent swimming, drinking ("ef-ESS!" captain would yell, the name of turkey's official beer and a decent one at that, to see if we wanted any), playing cards and board games with skipper, swinging around wendy's glowing poi balls, star-gazing and other revelry. one evening held an almost total lunar eclipse and the next night a harvest moon. both personally tragic to me because i couldn't take photos with my new awesome camera as the boat swayed too much. we all slept atop the boat in the evenings, chatting as we dozed off one by one. our last night i got a bit too tipsy and apparently did a lot of speaking and singing in spanish. that scares me because i know only two songs in spanish and they're both terribly annoying and also my vocabulary in spanish is terrible so who knows what was coming out. i do know that i accidentally stepped on moo-SLIM!s sunglasses. the arms came right off and i thought i could screw them back on but, according to colin, i kept coming up to him saying, "i can't find the screws! i can't find the screws!" until colin threw the pieces overboard. we were silent the next day when moo-SLIM! was looking for them. does that make us evil?

before we knew it, it was time for us to go. hugs and contact info exchanged (mostly taken care of with a "you're on facebook, right? i'll find you there"). we were pretty depressed actually to leave our carefree boat-living life but it was on to istanbul...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The blue mosque

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The view from first class

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

THE blue lagoon

our cruise is taking us to olu deniz, otherwise known as the blue lagoon.

rock. on.

zeki, my former stylist had somewhat of a breakdown which involved me sitting in his apt listening to him, by turns, talk about some crazy spiritual shit and then yelling at me for being "too much a lawyer and not enough friend."

suffice it to say, dealing with him and trying to help him was stressful and annoying and i left his place a sweaty angry mess. he called a million times to apologize but i kept screening him out. until i realized i was going to istanbul and needed some guidance. when i called, his voicemail said he was without phone for the month of august (the outgoing message was strangely coherent) and i dropped him an e-mail although i know he barely knows how to work a computer and never checks it.

to my surprise, i got this message later that evening:

"Hey darlin .!
So nice to hear from you .feelin almost happy
wisch to see you .bud i cant  sorry
left new york for a weil'l  living in a ZEN BUDDHIST MONASTERY
will become a student soon  for the next four years
would love to seya in september ?????????
Please call my sister in istanbul  so you dont have to be a turist all the time
she  can guide you and take you out some night . if u    feel to
call hear anyway"

and actually, hearing him talk is strangely similar to how he types. so that's that, he's becoming a monk. it's probably for the best as he had decided to quit cutting hair and thus couldn't afford to pay his rent or his utility bills (in his apt we sat in the sweltering heat in the dark because the electric had already been turned off). but i've dropped his sister a line so maybe we'll have some help navigating the city and whatnot...

time will tell!

i don't remember whether i have already linked this but i certainly meant to: alex balk at his best. except for when he's ranting/raving about politics, that may be better. or talking about his family. or opera. whatever, he's genius.

i'm also thoroughly enjoying this little blog by eric ripert. all the food he makes in a toaster oven. they have few ingredients and are quick and look delicious. also, he's remarkably good looking, has luscious hair and i heart the way he says "aluminum." THIS is how cooking is made easy. to hell with rachael ray.

Monday, August 11, 2008

one less married man also TURKEY!

so that chef guy whose wikipedia page said he was married?

he's still asking me out. i was going to send him a link to his wikipedia page that details his married status and poof! mention of marriage was gone.

i look at the cached page, google the girl it named as his wife and came up with this. a random girl who is obsessed with him who hacked his wiki page to announce her marriage to him.

so he's not really married. but he said on numerous occasions that he had to go back to his girlfriend. i dropped him a note saying i avoid dating people who are in relationships and he said that she's a girlfriend in the platonic sense.

of course...

okay, so we're skipping greece altogether. we didn't want to spend too much time en route and on planes. so from istanbul we're flying to dalaman and taking a cruise on a sailboat with these guys for a few days! then back to istanbul where a friend of a friend who is a famous actress there, is setting us up with some places to stay/restaurants to eat in/etc.


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

menagerie: books sold, my new yorkerness, sonny

the influx of visitors to my fine town is finally wearing on me. yes, i'm glad all the foreigners can come here and use money like it's water because the dollar is worth like 1/10th a euro. but lately, and this is due in large part to my times square office locale, i have found myself full on yelling at total strangers.

people who crowd at corners just staring at the white guy glaring at us from the crosswalk signal. i'll yell, "walk!" or people who just stand in the middle of the sidewalk, on the subway stairs, anywhere else that they're in my way i'll blurt a, "figure your shit out!" i'm not even sure what that means, but it's what comes out. but i'm a nice midwestern girl. i'm not supposed to be this angry all the time. then i read alex balk's story and how being nice got him bit in the ass and i don't feel so bad. niceness is overrated.

still working out the greece/turkey trip logistics. we're thinking of heading straight to santorini and doing istanbul on our last two nights. bought a new camera (leica d-lux 3) and very excited to take it on a spin.

a friend (one of the couple with whom we stayed in paris) just sold his first novel! he shares his editor with junot diaz. you know, that guy who wrote that book that won the pulitzer? if you haven't, read oscar wao. NOW! cheers to rosecrans. and his wife will sell her screenplay any minute and it all couldn't happen to a lovelier couple. i've had goosebumps all morning. I'M FRIENDS WITH A PUBLISHED AUTHOR! is what i've been dying to yell across my office.

i just finished last weeks new yorker and thought it was delightful. first, a nice long article by ben mcgrath who is slowly becoming one of my favorite writers for the mag. i don't usually take note of a byline unless i find myself admiring certain lines profusely, or just being stuck by the way it is authored. every time i read something that is quirky yet touching and thoughtful, it has mcgrath's name on it. it makes me want to buy him a drink and maybe run my fingers through his hair. this one was a profile of alan rogers, one of the finer men in our military, who recently passed away (IED) and who also happened to be gay. some people aren't happy with his sexuality being broadcast post mortem as he was fairly discreet about it in real life. "nowhere in those phone calls home did he say, 'let everyone know that i died a proud gay officer.'" mcgrath quotes an officemate of rogers. ben's response: "of course, being a proud gay officer is tantamount, under current military policy, to being a retired gay officer with no pension." touche.

also, this edition treated me to one of the few annual profiles from david remnick. on lang lang, the famous chinese pianist: "lang wears so much product in his hair that when he swas in rapture to his playing his head looks like a porcupine in a typhoon." "when he is handed flowers, the first thing he does after smiling and saying thanks, is look around, eyes darting, for somewhere to ditch the flowers. for nine days, i felt like a maid of honor." ah, i heart that guy...

saw sonny rollins at central park. That dude can still play. It's intense. Also, he played st thomas, which is all that mattered to me. Is fun to see a living legend. After him and al green, I have some 20 left on my list I guess

the weekend...a bit late.

i had options galore to leave the city this weekend and get myself sunned on a beach but i just wanted to stay in the city and do nothing.

and doing nothing turned out to be quite fabulous.

got a wax from a semi-gentle polish lady, met ted and justin for gossip and an early brunch while it monsooned outside. the rain stopped just long enough for us step into a nail salon for pedicures. monsoon resumed. by the time our toes were dry, the rain had stopped again (mother nature loved us on saturday). we spent the afternoon playing board games, drinking on ted's roof, ordering chinese, getting cravings for birthday cake (and no pot was in sight, i swear) and baking a cake while watching "about a boy."

sunday i woke up early to do laundry. found an abandoned, untouched nytimes magazine sitting on a table at starbucks. also found a city section and read my favorite little part, the FYI. (where people write in to say, "so why is the street sign at X and X corner in chelsea a good 10ft higher than all the rest?" and some researcher goes and finds out that there's a body shop around the corner and the tow trucks kept ripping the sign off the pole at the standard height. fun!) feist was playing, the sun was shining.

spent the afternoon at the frying pan drinking pitchers in the sun wearing my new marc jacobs panama hat and actually think that though i was trying to look cool, i may have carried it off. for once.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Fwd: sad sad news

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jessica
Date: Tue, Aug 5, 2008 at 9:31 AM
Subject: sad sad news
To: Alex, Brian, Jasmine, Justin

 im sure you are all aware of the news story that broke today, if not im am very saddened to have to be the one who has to break this news to you. but the reports you have heard are true. My boyfriend, Michael Phelps has arrived in Beijing with a really ugly mustache. Please join me in praying he shaves it asap.
perhaps an online petition to our elected officials is in order.
i would have attached a pictures, but why make it worse then it is. Until this issue is resloved i will stare at the cover of espn magazine and that cute cell phone commercial i have dvred and remember happier times.
my thoughts are with all of you at this difficult time

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Geminola: my favorite store that I'll never afford anything from

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Pedicure: rose petals and lemon in my water!


since a few people may be taking offense:

chicago isn't boring per se. it's just old hat. it's home. it's a
comfy place where i know most the nooks and crannies.

it is NOT a vacation. it is not exotic. and, especially with my
grandparents and kate being in the suburbs, the suburbs are even LESS
of a vacation and even LESS excotic than downtown.

that is my problem with chicago. my problem is that i never get time
for a vacation. until now....

Friday, August 01, 2008

i'm such a jet-setter

to: jasmine
from: colin

You're itching for a vaca, right?
I am too.

Where are we going

to: colin
from: jasmine

DYING for it, actually.

on a small scale, i'd love to do san fran.

on the exotic side, am needing to see hawaii.

on the far-away side, i want to do australia/NZ and i have a friend in hong kong who i've been thinking i should visit.

anything screaming out to you?

to: jasmine
from: colin

I've just been dying for Turkey.  Maybe Greece (after I saw Mamma Mia...haha)

I was thinking of going to NZ/Aus in January as one of my good friends is moving to NZ.   Up for that?

to: colin
from: jasmine

would also love to do turkey/greece...

to: jasmine
from: colin

Hey, so tell me if I'm crazy.

I can get us first class tix to Athens using my points leaving at 10pm on August 14 and returning on the 19th.   That's just right around the corner I know, not sure if you can take off that quickly.

Taxes on the ticket would be 100 bucks.  I'm cool to use my points and maybe you could pitch in a few hundred for hotel and that would be totally cool with me.


and that was that. tickets were booked hours later. i was meant to go to chicago that weekend so had to call kate to say, "hey, change of plans!" she wasn't too pleased but i think she's realizing that every time i have vacation time, i use it to go to old boring chicago to sit around and watch tv with her, her hubby and her dogs. all of whom i love but that is NOT A VACATION.

what the hell do i pack for an exotic trip to pretty greece?!

oooooh! also just used miles to fly myself to san fran for a long weekend. i have a friend there so flight/accommodations are gratis.

any recommendations on where to go in SF? or the grecian islands? help!