Monday, February 28, 2011

Not an Oscars Person

I am not an Oscars person.  I never have been, probably never will be.  I'm pretty sure I have never seen an entire show.  I usually haven't seen any of the films.  I've never been to an Oscars after party.  And I don't obsess over the red carpet. 

But like the rest of you I haven't been able to avoid all of the negative fall-out today.  Wow!  Was it really the worst show ever?  Did the hosts completely fall on their faces?  Was James Franco really stoned?  Is Anne Hathaway really the next Catwoman?  (Sorry, I digress..)

Was an F-bomb shared with millions?  What the heck was Gwenth Paltrow wearing?  Why is Young Hollywood trying to look so old?  And old Hollywood still shopping in the Junior's section?  Yikes, Friends, beside Natalie Portman and her "radiance" and the triumph of the 70 year old screen writer of The King's Speech, I can't really find anything positive about last night.  (Not that I was looking...)

But good news:  A free short stack awaits you tomorrow at IHOP.  Now that totally has my interest!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Yes on YES!

2011 Baseball season is underway!  The first preseason Yankee game is currently airing on the YES network.  Leading off, Number 2, the Captain.... Derek Jeter :)


(How come he doesn't come life size?)

New Trend in Ice Cream

I basically read the newspaper cover to cover each day.  Well, I skip the classifieds and the multi-page car ads and just glance at the front page of the sports section.  But the rest I am pretty engrossed in at some point in the day.  Today I came across an article about a new trend in ice cream.

A trendy little spot in England has begun selling premium ice cream for $22 a serving.  It comes in a beautiful little martini glass and is made with 100% pasteurized human breast milk.  They sold out the first day it was available. Now if I could just incorporate some strained peas into my guacamole...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Beware of Tourist Traps!

While on vacation this week, my husband, our best friends and I spent some time in NYC.  We had tickets to the Knicks game on Wednesday night.  Yes, the boys definitely lucked out because Carmello Anthony made his New York debut amid much fan fare.  In fact, most everyone we talked to:  cab drivers, bartenders, fellow revelers could talk of nothing else.  He came, he dominated, we drank.  Good times!

While there, we walked around (inevitable), cabbed it to Dash ($285 for a bathing suit top that would hardly fit my 7 month old), and bar hopped for a bit.  The weather was beautiful and the game capped off a pretty good day.

After, the we returned to our room with authentic New York cheesecake, 5 bags of chips and Presidentes in hand.  Well the cheesecake was frozen and we were too tired to finish our beers.  But we did go to bed with full chip bellies... that were quickly expelled the next morning.

While waiting for the bathroom to clear, we happened upon a 'What to do in NYC' channel.  There were bus tours (too chilly for open air buses), Broadway shows (went to the game instead), shopping (already did that), exciting nightlife (not in the a.m.), and the best deli sandwiches in town.  Hmm, it had been almost 8 hours since our last meal, perfect!  Uptown we go.

We drove toward Times Square and parked in an underground garage.  We wanted to stop at the NBA store before lunch, but someone forgot to remind us that is was "relocating."  That must be New York speak for "closed" because someone is relocating on every block.  And nothing seems to fill those vacant store fronts...

Anyway, we walked to our lunch destination:  Maxie's Deli.  The sandwiches looked incredible on the TV!  Soft bread overflowing with fresh deli meat and colorful veges.  S and I wondered how we would even take a bite of such a huge and inviting banquet of flavor.  Well, Friends, beware of tourist traps!

For $25 I was served a hot turkey sandwich with auburn colored gravy, kind of like the Clairol that looks like it was mixed with red Kool-aide.  Joining the mess were fake mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce that still tasked like the tin can they came from.  It was inedible.  My husband's "California" cheese stake had strips of last night's left over mutton and pieces of green pepper the size of a green apple.  S enjoyed her Reuben but was pretty turned off by the Russian dressing that arrived on the side.  It was the color of strawberry jello.  Her husband was served a hot roast beef sandwich covered in the same weird gravy.  Only he ordered turkey, too.  Four sandwiches and two sodas cost us $135.50 because they were nice enough not to charge us for the two waters we ordered and they added 18% gratuity to our check.  Wish we had just grabbed some street meat!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Discounted Travel Sites (cont.)

Two days later and no call back...

So, I decided to give them a call.  After being put on hold for almost 20 minutes and disconnected, I called back in my teacher voice.  Guess I should have tried three claps to get their attention because the customer service rep would not connect me to a mananger, could not secrure my travel, and I still don't have a new itinerary.  The travel site is blaming the airline for changing its schedule.  It is up to the airline to resolve my issue, they said.  But I was assured it will be resolved.  I'm "not traveling until April" after all.  Super!

Thanks, Lee for not helping me.

I then decided to do some checking on my own.  There aren't any seats left on the flight that my parents were moved to, so maybe we will be booking us in the baggage compartment...

Beware, Friends, be very aware when you book your travel!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Baby Showers at Home

Yesterday afternoon I went to a baby shower that was held at the mom-to-be's home.  When I received the invitation, I found it strange.  I have been to showers held in people's homes, but never hosted by the new mom.  As I sat there yesterday I thought about the pros and cons:

Pro:  small and intimate!
Con:  tight and crowded...

Pro:  home-made food that the new mom enjoys!
Con:  not everyone likes curry and runny broccoli salad...

Pro:  mom travels to her comfy couch!
Con:  guests travel an hour to the middle of nowhere...

Pro:  all of the gifts are already home!
Con:  none!

Pro:  no time frame to abide by!
Con:  a shower for about 20 guests lasted almost 4 hours...

If I ever have another baby shower for myself, you are all invited to my house :)

Discounted Travel Sites

Beware, Friends, of booking flights at discounted travel sites!

My dad is hands down the smartest person I know.  He reads three newspapers cover to cover most days and keeps up with a couple others online.  He completes the New York Times crossword in minutes and stops answering questions on Jeopardy! just to let others have a chance.  If you need a trivia partner, he's your man!  If you are playing Trivial Pursuit, make sure he is on your team!  So why didn't I listen to him before I booked my travel online?  Because I am cheap of course...

Dear old dad warned me that unless you book with the actual airline you are in danger of loosing your seats.  Apparently when passengers book through the airline and fill up the seats, you and your discounted fair are bumped.  Hopefully, you are notified and a new reservation is confirmed.  That is what happened to my parents.  They booked on Travelocity and the little gnome found them a new flight.

I booked on CheapOair (really, that's its name) and unless I had called them when I discovered that our flights no longer existed, I wouldn't be any the wiser.  I received no updated flight itinerary.  I received no phone call notification.  The only emails that I have received from them are for their weekday car rental specials in San Francisco and New Delhi.  Like I travel to India most Tuesdays! 

So I spent 20 minutes on hold, while my happy accented rep confirmed nothing.  We are booked in cyberspace and the travel site is trying to contact the airline to get some sort of confirmation as to our travel arrangements.  Super!  And I thought that traveling with a 9 month old was our biggest challenge.

"Just give us 24 hours," they said.  "Thanks for your patience," they said.

"Funny, you already charged my credit card for flights that no longer exist,"  I said...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

New Cannoneer Court

Friends if you get a chance, you have to check out the new Harry Tucker gym.  It's awesome!!

Godspeed Jacob

I think that the most tragic thing that can happen to a person is the loss of a child.  A few years back, I attended the funeral of a young child who was accidentally killed while on vacation.  It was horrific witnessing the grief of his parents.  His coffin was so small that the pallbearers could barely walk three on each side.  I was physically in pain when we followed it to the grave site.  And to this day, the sound of bagpipes still makes me weep.

I wasn't a parent then.  Just an observer who happened to observe two people and their friends and families on the worst day of their lives.  I really can't imagine how I would feel if it happened to me.  I'm sure that I wouldn't even remember the others that came in support, who sent food or flowers, and all of the uncomfortably kind words offered.

I do know that I would not want to be the focus of so much sympathy.  I think that I would need time to grieve alone with my husband.  To remember MY child.  I wouldn't want to share her with anyone.  I would want to be selfish and angry and completely alone with my grief.  I think that the overwhelming support that people instinctively share would be too much for me to bear.

A young boy in my school lost his battle with cancer on Friday.  People have been Facebooking, texting, emailing, and donating ever since.  I think that it makes people feel a little less guilty that their own sons and daughters are happily sleeping and safe in their own beds.  But I don't know how it makes his family feel.  If any of it takes away even a second of their agony.  And since I would never ask, I am going to send my condolences quietly from afar.

"If tears could build a stairway and memories were a lane,
We would walk right up to heaven and bring you back again."
--Irish funeral blessing

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Another Reason to Keep Your Butt Small!

Hi Friends!  It has been awhile since I have been able to post, but good news:  I'm back!  No face plants, no sore wrist, no more excuses...

There are a few blogs that I keep up with because I enjoy also reading about what other people are thinking, I learn interesting things, and I am a huge bargain hunter.  So I like to check them out and keep myself informed.  This morning a headline caught my attention:  "Woman Dies In Hotel of Botched Butt-Enhancement".  It wasn't that the poor thing died; I read that everyday in the obits.  It wasn't that something odd went on in a hotel; we all have a story about Coco's Motel.  But a butt-enhancement?  I thought only the Kardashians were that dumb, I mean bold.  I was definitely intrigued!

I began reading about this 20 something from England who traveled all the way to a Hampton Inn in Philadelphia to have her butt enhanced.  Remind me again why anyone wants a bigger butt?  Which means tighter jeans and bigger seats and panty lines!!  Sorry, I digress...

Now Philadelphia is home to Temple University and its world renowned Medical Center and it also has a children's hospital that was ranked the #1 pediatric hospital in the United States by Parents magazine.  But did our desperate Brit choose one of these pillars of medical science.  Nope, she checked her and her sorry butt into the local Hampton Inn.  Yes, Friends there was a reason we fought to distance ourselves from our British com padres.  We might just be smarter than them... 

Anyway, during the procedure, she started having breathing problems and developed chest pains.  Kind of like when you are trying to shrink your butt via the treadmill.  But alas, she was not able to recover by jumping to a bike with a People magazine in her hands.  When she arrived at the hospital she was pronounced dead.  Unbelievable!  See the link below for the full story.

And the saddest part of this story?  She didn't even get to enjoy the complimentary hot breakfast.  The make-your-own waffles are the BEST!!