Monthly Archives: May 2007

May 2007 Books

32. Listen to me good: The Life Story of an Alabaman Midwife by Margaret Charles Smith and Linda Janet Holmes
33. The Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones
34. Little Women by Lousia May Alcott
35. Little Men by Louisa May Alcott
36. Jo’s Boys by Louisa May Alcott
37. The Old Wine Shades by Martha Grimes
38. Queen of Dreams by Chitra Banerjee Divakairuni
39 Year of the Griffin by Diana Wynne Jones
40. The Ersatz Elevator by Lemony Snicket
41. The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket
42. THe Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snicket
43. The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket
44. The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket
45. Sabriel by Garth Nix
46. Lirael by Garth Nix
47. Abhorsen by Garth Nix

No matter how many times I read Little Women it makes me cry at that ONE PLACE that I won’t specify in case someone out there hasn’t read it yet. It’s a great book, and Louisa May Alcott is one of my all time favorite authors.

The Diana Wynne Jones books were super, too! Lorelei recommended the Dark Lord of Derkholm and she was right, I did enjoy it. She also lent me the Garth Nix books, and I really enjoyed them too – I read all three in the series on Memorial Day.
I’m breezing my way through the Lemony Snicket books that I haven’t read yet – I love reading childrens books: it’s like eating sweet morsels of candy. they’re so super.


I’m scheduled to run the freihofer’s 5K for women on sat. and I haven’t done the comprehensive training that I would like. last night, though, I got on the treadmill and went for 3.1 miles. I finished that in 35:16, and it wasn’t that fun. I don’t know if it was just plain NOT FUN or if it was not fun because I was pushing myself too hard. I won’t finish as fast as I did the run last september (about 36 min) but as long as I’m under 40 min I will be happy, given the minimal training I’ve been doing. and also, given the big uphill that is at the beginning of the route and which I’ve been warned about.

I keep telling myself that when I’m good at running I will really love it. I interpret good as being able to run a 5K in about 30 min. without killing myself, I guess – to be at the point where I can just get up and it’s not a potentially overwhelming task to just tie on my shoes, and I can go outside or to the gym and run for a while and come home and it won’t be a huge production, just something I Do. and maybe that will happen – when I was playing goofy ultimate frisbee games I loved the running back and forth, and that glimpse of moving fast and freely and on my own two feet.

the training strategy of making other people sign up with me for runs is working really well so far! Rachel has been running for a few weeks now, and Meredith is a superstar, walking up big hills for conditioning. I’m so excited about the three of us being so active. I’m so excited that we’ve been making almost-daily activity a more regular part of our lives. and I’m so proud of the two of them! they are so super. Sat. will be superfun, no matter how fast we run (or apparently, how much it rains).

April 2007 Books

25. The Case of the Not-so-nice Nurse by Mabely Maney
26. The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
27. The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket
28. The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket
29. THe Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket
30. The Austere Academy by Lemony Snicket
31. Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis

I’d read the Lemony Snickett books in early 2005, but I wanted to finish the series so I re-read them all. I brought Babbitt with me to Japan as a big heavy book that I wouldn’t finish right away and wish I had more, but it was so boring that it took a lot of effort to finish it once I got home. I guess it’s something I should be more into – it makes a sharp point about consumerism and america, and it was written in the 1920s, but boy. it was LONG.

also, I updated Feb and March book posts and backdated them. Sneaky! I WOULD have updated with May books, but there is an outside chance that I will read another book or two by the end of the month. and by “there is an outside chance that I will” I mean “I will probably.”


I got my photos back from my new lomo fisheye camera (thanks paula!) and they are so fun. I had forgotten how great film cameras are for color and weird surprises when you see the prints. I had also forgotten how hard it can be to wait for the prints to come back from the shop. even if it’s an online shop, it’s still a huge pain.

I took a bunch more this weekend under better light conditions, and I can’t wait to get them back!

busy busy week

man, but this week was so killer.

  • monday: normal day. mostly. busy but normal. meetings at work etc. to make things seem stagnant and unproductive.
  • tuesday: in normal time, out at 5:30 to meet serena for dinner in nyc. home and worked on stuff while sitting on couch.
  • wednesday: in to work by 6:30, leave at 3:45 and dash to NYC to try and buy worms from green market. thunderstorms have scared everyone away. head to alumni council meeting at 5:30-8. Home and more work while on the couch.
  • thursday: in to work by 6:30, leave at 4:45 to attend on the rooftop party. after party home. work on train in and out of city. work on couch for 45 min. until keep dozing off over keyboard. sigh.
  • friday: in to work by 7AM. trip to Trenton with client to the state for a meeting. back to work. tonight I need to make a dolly hand-off in n. brunswick after work so I need to stay here until 5:30 or 6 or so. I am so tired already! I think I might start drinking some coffee this afternoon.

on the upside, I did clear a lot of things off of my plate. on the downside I’m still behind on a couple of projects, and I have a deliverable to the state next friday. on the other upside, it’s friday! and I can get some rest tonight! bu7t on the other downside, I don’t know if I can sleep in tomorrow b/c for the last 3 weeks in a row there have been noisy men repointing my building.

I have to say, though, the friday thing trumps a lot of downsides. Thank GOODNESS I don’t have to come to work at 6:30 am tomorrow. THANK GOODNESS.

in the moment

I met a good friend for dinner in the city tonight and got back to my car at journal square at 9PM. it’s a beautiful night – somehow, summer has snuck up on me in NJ again. it seems like just yesterday that all the trees started tree-ing and flowers bloomed. but now it’s in the high 60s or low 70s at night and the sky as I walked through the village to the PATH train was deep brilliant blue, in that urban light pollution back-light kind of way.

I was driving west on rt 3 towards home listening to a neko case album and track 5 came on – track 5 is always the best and most singable, I think – and I turned up the stereo and started singing at the top of my lungs and threw my arm over the passenger side seat and cruised over the hackensack river and turned my head and made eye contact with someone passing me and I realized suddenly that I was entirely in that moment. the windows were open and my hair was whipping in the soft warm wind and I was loud and singing and happy and I was Right There. how super, you know?

I think a lot about where I AM, especially with all the driving I do. it’s so easy when you drive to and from work to get tied up in where you’re going, to live for the destination. Sometimes you will end up at work and not know how you’ve gotten there. I try to make the process part of the goal, but it’s really hard. So tonight was just wonderful.

thanks are in order

mister corduroyorange, thank you for your post on how to cook hard boiled eggs. I should have known it was auspicious when it was posted on my birthday. now, almost a month later, I want to share with you that I have cooked at least 2 pots of hard boiled eggs and they are coming out so beautifully. most important was the tip to pack’em in there so they don’t smash against their eggy friends as they’re boiling merrily along. that was always my biggest problem. but mostly, by explaining how to cook eggs you’ve given me the confidence to do it without stress , concern, or the constant checking of “the joy of cooking.” (which really, I did do. I was really nervous about boiling eggs and could never remember how long to do it for.)

thanks jesse!

Brooklyn to NJ

I had a really fun weekend, filled with fancy cocktails and japanese tapas and friends and ribs for breakfast and tasty food stands in red hook and wine bars and birthday parties for strangers. it was also full of public transportation: I parked my car Friday after work and didn’t get back into it until this morning when I headed to the office. I love that. that’s one of the reasons I love where I live: I was really busy this weekend, and I didn’t have to drive at all.

I also went to Brooklyn twice this weekend on the public transit. Sat. night was a birthday party for someone I just met (friends of friends) and I ended up heading back to NJ at 1:30 in the morning. it took me just over 1 1/2 hours to get home, which is pretty darn awesome if you ask me. I took the 2/3 to Port Authority to my lovely 24-hour bus to NJ. excellent. Sunday I went to Brooklyn again, and it took me 1 1/4 hours to get there: train to Hoboken, from there the PATH to 14th street to the F train. very very easy as well. especially considering that according to it would take exactly 1 hour to make the same trip from my old apartment in Spanish Harlem. I mean, it’s way more glamorous to live in Spanish Harlem than NJ, and I could take a cab home late at night if I wanted to pony up the cash, but NJ is not terribly far away from Brooklyn and my friends. It’s helpful for me to remember that!
Although, I must admit that the cab-home option would have been so great last night on my way back to NJ: I took the train to the path to Hoboken and missed my train by 6 minutes. So I waited for an hour and took the next train, but was so engrossed in my book that I missed the [ONE] announcement that only the back doors would open. and then I couldn’t get off of the train. Ack! So I ended up getting off at the next station stop, which was so dark and scary and chilly, and waited for Kathleen to pick me up and bring me home. she is so sweet. I could have waited for 20 minutes and taken a train in the other direction, but it was nice to be rescued by My Hero!


a couple of asides to my last post: I was thinking of suggesting you read it first so you had some context for these asides, but then realized that I cracked up writing my last post because I remembered this aside-al context. so you can go either way.

1. I mentioned that Michelle’s dad ribs me about my cars. He appreciates a smart alec, firstly, so it’s fun to rib him back. he thinks they’re all broke down falling apart (though not the current one) and filthy dirty (this is true of the current one) and he often tries to trick me into letting him get a nice car wash for me. I’ve been driving to long island for: can you believe it? ELEVEN YEARS that’s not even as long as I’ve known michelle. I started, I think, during winter break of 1995/1996 freshman year. Then I was driving a ford tempo, though I would also occasionally drive the dynasty. and then I would only drive the dynasty, and then I would drive my sweet 2-door accord, and then Flo, my 4-door civic who, at the beginning, did not have four working doors and back-seaters had to climb in through the front. All of these cars have had varying levels of matte finish, rust, and/or obvious mechanical problems.

my favorite interaction with him was in the civic – I started it up and a fan belt started to squeal. he said something to me about the noise, and I said “I’m sorry, I can’t hear you – the fan belt is too loud!” it’s even funnier if you know about that ernie and bert interchange on sesame street where bert is trying to tell ernie he has a banana in his ear and finally ernie says “bert, I can’t hear you – there’s a banana in my ear!” ha! comic gold! oh, did I just aside my aside?

2. my brother calls me on the phone on his way into work. it’s always before 7AM, sometimes just before and sometimes on the wrong side of 6:30. we usually have nice chats and it’s one of the few times we can really catch up, because after HIS work I’m still working, and he goes to bed early. I told him he’s lucky that I’m a morning person and not like him because otherwise we’d never speak ever, and it’s true. I wake up right away – sometimes I have to just lie there while he talks, but sometimes, horrifyingly enough, I wake up so bright-eyed that I start the chattering right away. an aside for this aside: my brother used to sleepwalk. a lot. and he would never ever wake up in the morning. I didn’t realize what it was like to not be a morning person until just after I moved to NJ when I was so totally exhausted all I could do was sleep and sleep and sleep, and waking up felt like I lived in jello. That is, apparently, what it’s like to not be a morning person. *shudder.*

waterless car wash

treehugger had a post about a waterless carwash solution a bit ago and I went ahead and bought it yesterday.

I don’t post many photos of my incredibly cute and zippy swank rocket-ship of a honda insight, but if I did, you’d notice I’m not really very good at the car washing shtick. I mean, I’ve mentioned previously how amazing my car looks when it’s nice and clean – it’s something I’m totally aware of. but part of me has always thought “hey, self. so, your car is made out of aluminum and plastic, which won’t rust, so don’t worry about washing it!” and that’s a pretty bad thing for me to think, because I wasn’t that into washing cars when they were made of ferrous metals that would eventually disintegrate, either. I would justify my inattention by saying they’ve already got that “matte” finish, and I am a big car-life-cycle finisher (aka, resale value is not that important to me), so really, what’s the big deal? I would only wash cars when the salt was starting to flake off in big pieces or when I’d go to michelle’s house, because her dad gently ribs me about cars.

about 9 months ago when people were posting to an insight board I read pretty regularly about types of car washing solution and the best way to do it, and I had an epiphany. it’s not the steel body of the car that the washing protects, it’s the paint. and the paint protects the body, which prevents the rust. Hey! honest, I’d never thought about it this way before. The fact that I had to out myself to hundreds of insight drivers as a car-non-washer to reach this level of clarity, now, that was a little embarrassing.

so after restructuring my thoughts on the rationale of carwashing, I thought I should wash my car more. but with the insight you can’t just run it through an automatic car wash because of the wheel skirts, and I never seem to make it to the local cheap hand wash before they close. being in an apartment means no hoses, and my trips to the family seats should be about FUN, not about carwashing. I can probably say with all honesty that in the last 9 months I’ve washed my car less than 4 times. no, really. (eek.) but this waterless car thing, now, that’s more my speed. I could wash my car in the parking lot at work, if I wanted to! I’ll be honest, I will probably never WANT to wash my car, not after the first time, anyway. but at least this way I can’t tell myself that I just CAN’T wash my car. because you know what, I can. I just DON’T.

I bought the starter kit, which includes 4 microfiber towels and the solution itself, for $20. I’ll let y’all know how it works. I’ll also let you know if I am entirely on-board with the notion that the sufactants in the solution successfully wrap themselves around my car’s dirt particles and prevent the paint from scratching as I rub it down.

*** oh, and in crazy synergy news, I just realized that the dude that posted the treehugger article is also one of the brothers in brotherhood 2.0, which I’ve been enjoying pretty regularly. if my brother had to sit in front of a computer all day long like I do, I might make him gank that idea with me. of course, my brother is more of the strong silent electrician type and when we talk I am the chatty one, so it would probably not flow as gracefully as brotherhood 2.0 does. I’m happy with the pre-7AM chats with my dear baby brother when he calls on his way into work.