Out With The Old

The end of 2005 will be ushered out with much blowing of noses and consumption of Nyquil at the Holbrook house, and 2006 will be ushered in with more of the same. And when I ask The Husband for a back tickle in the New Year his answer will be the same as it was in the Old Year: "I'm trying to sleep!”

Peter Pan took his first outdoor steps today as he had his final round of shots earlier this week. He is immune! Hallelujah! Quarantine was rough, and not allowing his paws to touch a floor another dog may have touched was a little bit sanity-consuming, but we made it through! We celebrated by dressing him up in his jaunty Isaac Mizrahi trench coat and booties and taking him for a very jaunty but terribly ADD style walk in the snow. It went like this: walk walk walk - stop to sniff- walk walk walk- lick the cement!- walk walk walk- gotta catch the leaf gotta catch the leaf!- walk walk walk- run run run! - wait, where was I going? And then we let him race down the hall on our floor, and let me tell you, with good carpeted traction and free space to run, that dog can catch some speed! And then he whimpered at the door while The Husband took a shower. He could find no solace in his mommy who was sitting on the couch fully available and waiting for love. So sad.

So, here's to your New Year, and here's to ours as well, which The Husband has decided will be a Naked New Year; a new tradition he swears up and down we're starting tonight. We'll see about that one. Happy New Year!


thoughts on trains.

I like taking the Number 2 train because the announcements are done by a tag team of what I like to imagine is a happily married couple. First the woman tells you what stop you're at and what stop is next; then the man tells you to "Stand clear of the closing doors, please." I like it because the man is looking out for our safety (as all men should, really) and the woman is being kind and telling us where we are.

It is much preferable to the Number 5 train. I dislike it when I'm told, "This is the last stop on this train - please exit the train immediately," because that means I have to sit at the Bowling Green stop for just about forever with the tacky orange subway tiles where it’s hot and sticky until another train comes along, and really.

That's it, kids.



faster, santa!


some more thoughts on subways.

I was on the slowest subway in all of the world this morning. We were stopped for 15 minutes at the bottom of the East River because of "signal failure." Under the East River for crying out loud! The longer you sit there the more you're aware that you're trapped under some five million gallons of water and I might be exaggerating but it was a lot to think about.

I asked The Husband if his train experience was similar to mine, as he'd left for work 30 minutes earlier than me and left me to put on makeup and make vital wardrobe decisions all by my lonesome, and he said no. (No!)



And now it is Christmas! We have our tree up and everything. Our very first Christmas with a baby. Who is a puppy.

Peter Pan is growing up so fast. We stripped his coat for the first time and now he's quite the striking gentleman. The Husband has taken his LSAT and has finished his admissions essay. All that's left to do is make cookies wait till Christmas comes along.

This photo is obviously THEEEE most flattering photo ever taken. 


And They Call It Puppy Love

I've told you all about this new puppy of ours who just happens to be a genius, haven't I? He's so smart that in just three days he's figured out paper training and will quietly excuse himself from the living room to take a piddle on the pad and then come back for big praise and a treat. He’s a genius, I really mean it.

In other news, the Christmas tree is up (aluminum and in all its tiny glory) and we're watching one of those claymation Christmas movies with the Burgermeister Meister Burger and questionable songs about kids sitting on strange men's laps.

P.S. Brandon takes his LSAT tomorrow morning. He's studied for months and lost about 5 pounds of worry weight. He needs lots of support. And a 180, if you please. Pray for him.


And The Winning Numbers Are...

Last night the New York Mega Millions was up to something insane like $360 million and The Husband was feeling lucky. He bought a lottery ticket at the news stand down the street and then proceeded to ponder exactly how he would spend it, whether he wanted it lump-sum or in payments, and he even promised a friend of his he'd pay for his medical school if he won. Did I say he was feeling lucky? I would almost say he was feeling assured, like he had a spiritual prompting. We were about to be millionaires. There was excitement in the air. Only a few more hours until we were rich beyond measure! He stayed up until midnight, refreshing the browser on the Mega Millions website over and over until the results were posted.

And then somebody in Anaheim won.


Manhattan All Over My Feet

The Holbs and I decided to hold our 1st Annual Holbrooks Walk The Island.

The idea is you start at the bottom of Manhattan and then just walk walk walk all the way up on Broadway. Like the pioneers.

We started at Fulton and Broadway and walked. And walked. It was a little chilly but sunny and there were a lot of tourists downtown for some reason, and it got me to thinking about stuff.

We flew into Manhattan for the first time so Brandon could train for his new position. The company flew me out too so I could have fun, but those first few days when I was by myself and didn't know how the subways worked or where anything was and it was summer and all hot and sticky, I was just dead intimidated. When the cab from the airport dropped us off, a random guy ran up and offered to help us take our luggage into the hotel if we'd give him twenty bucks, and I remember feeling so overwhelmed by all the noise and the smells.

That night we had dinner in the hotel restaurant, which had these big windows facing ground zero. I looked down at that gaping hole and then at my husband and I realized that for a whole year he was going to be the only person I knew. It was all I could do not to cry into my pasta.

The city feels like second nature by now. I'm so much braver than I was when we first moved here. The crazy people make me smile and I've learned to breathe through my sleeve in stinky spots and I don't feel like I’m ever in any danger. The crazy packed streets seem exciting. I can't believe how lucky I am to be here. Every day that I don't spend exploring feels like a day wasted.

Our walk today was a so much fun. We walked all the way up to 96th Street on the Upper West Side, and right around 72nd we got what I'll now call the Upper West Side High, where suddenly everyone is beautiful and the leaves are crisp and the sugar from the cupcake we ate is just starting to set in.

Now that we're back home, safe in our little nest in Brooklyn Heights, and my feet are still throbbing but the delivery guy finally brought my groceries and life is perfect, I will tell you a little secret:

Having your groceries delivered to your door is something I think I should expect for the rest of my life.



In case any of you are following the terror threat on the subways here in New York and are biting your nails and fretting over our safety (anyone?) we want you to know that we aren’t dead, or blown up, or anything else dramatic, though we are a bit inconvenienced, and also it’s very exciting! Half the subways are shut down or not running, or running but on different tracks, it's pretty thrilling.

We walked to work on Friday. It took us just a half an hour to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, and that sucker is long, and it was jam-packed. There were cop cars with their lights blinking at every subway stop and an officer on practically every train. They say the attack is supposed to happen tomorrow, and luckily we don't need to ride the subways on Sundays, and it's raining cats and dogs, which is neither here nor there, but aren’t I adding to the ambiance with these details? (I thought so.)

Speaking of rain. New York with umbrellas is a little bit nutty. Walking down the street you're fine, but once you get to an intersection it’s all over. New York seems to have consistently dubious intersection behavior; people zig, they zag, like ants who've lost the trail and yet somehow, everyone gets where they need to be. Some raise their umbrellas high, others have to duck down, some move their umbrellas to the left, others to the right, and everyone has to change position as new walkers weilding umbrellas in their various positions emerge on the path. It's like a strange dance, and a major adrenaline rush.

And speaking of cops. I am learning that there really are "good" cops and "bad" cops. An example of bad cops: to get to Bedford PA last weekend we had to take the Holland Tunnel, which, folks, is HARD. It’s this huge tunnel, but it’s like, impossible to find! And you’re on Canal Street, and then you’re not, and then suddenly it’s TriBeCa and you’re like, are we close yet? And then magically, the Tunnel just appears before you, like a giant mouth to the sea. And you gulp and drive in and then you’re there in that tunnel for something like forever and then you emerge and it’s New Jersey. (kind of a let down.) There was a particularly bad-type bad cop directing traffic there last weekend, who Brandon may or may not have called him a dildo. (I’ll never tell.) (It was a rush!) But the cops this weekend are all really nice, and really cute. Flirty even. Yes flirty! After the incident with the Dildo Cop I started to think that all those 9/11 cops who were heroes must not really exist, but after today I've realized it's just that there are Terrorist Cops, and then there are Traffic Cops. Terrorist cops are way cute. Traffic cops can kiss my bootie.

The End.



It is a drowsy dreary day out today. The clouds are all droopy and my office is freezing, and I am dreaming of pulling on my thickest sweats and climbing in between the covers and sleeping clear until tomorrow.

My brain is asleep.

When I was little we had these Beatrix Potter videos we'd watch over and over, and each one would start with Beatrix setting a pot of tea to boil in her cottage in the rainy English countryside, and then turning to her watercolors and saying in the most wonderful British accent imaginable,

"I wonder what Peter Cottontail is up to today?"

Today I would watch that video over and over with some tea, if I could.


The Hudson (And Happy Birthday To Me!)

These nerds 
have just returned from a glorious birthday weekend in Pennsylvania.


On the drive home we talked about our first night in New York City. We got in late that night and the heat was unbearable in the apartment and there was only a bottle of margarita mix above the fridge, so we ran to the chinese restaurant next door for dinner. It was 11:30 at night and I felt awful. I was far away from my family, I felt small, lonely, and out of place. And so tired. I kept wondering, How did we get here? Can I do this? I sort of wanted to cry.

It's only been two months but the city is already starting to get to me. Going to the country was really fun, but I think  coming back to the city was even better.



Holbs: Hey, how did the chicken cross the road?

Me: HOW? How did the chicken cross the road?

Holbs: Yes, how did the chicken cross the road?

Me: (thinking this might be a clever joke I’m about to hear) I don't know. How?

Holbs: .... no, wait. Why.  Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side!

Me: Ugh.


Very Special K

Oh, to be a Special K Bar in Blueberry. I am in love.

And it came to pass that the Special K Bar in Blueberry was sold in the cafeteria at work. And verily it was good. I like Balance Bars in Yogurt Honey Peanut, and Luna Bar in Nutz over Chocolate (not Lemon Zest, yuck). Clif Bars are good, too, but a little heavy. Zone Perfect bars and Pria bars both taste like mud. EAS brand bars are pretty decent, they'll do in a pinch. These are all fairly wonderful bars but none are so near as perfect as The Special K. In Blueberry.

Today I bought 6 Special K bars in Blueberry at the cafeteria and I got that look from coworkers that clearly said "This Is A Cafeteria, Not A Grocery Store," but I figure I should stock up just in case the market near my house doesn't carry them and I don't want to run out! Because when I run out of the Special K Bars I will likely go into Special K Bar Withdrawal. Some people have alcohol addictions. Some people have gambling addictions.

Mine is to cereal bars.


I'm Taking The Express!

The Husband and I normally get out of the house early enough to avoid the crazy crush of humanity that leaves our apartment building at rush hour, but this morning we were late. We left our apartment at 9:05 but did not actually leave the apartment building until 9:25. Twenty minutes, seventeen floors. Next time I am taking the stairs.

This tidbit of conversation happened in the elevator on or around the 6th floor:

Guy #1: (must be new, or, like us, slept in for the first time) Is it always like this?

Guy #2: Yeah. I usually try and leave earlier so I miss this.

Guy #1: Seriously. It's like the local!

Subway jokes are never not funny.


The Perfect Saturday

I just had the perfect Saturday.

My perfect Saturday started at 10 a.m. with a trip the farmers market. I got to pet puppies (puppies!) and eat tomatoes and ask my husband to bring me a sweater because it was chilly out. “It's Chilly Out” is like my most favorite thing to say in the world.

And then I totally cleaned the bathroom. Like a hero. And then I swept the floors, an activity which I engage in nearly every twenty minutes, because Brooklyn is the world's leading manufacturer of dust and I am the world's leading manufacturer of stray hairs.

And then, brunch! Eggs Florentine!

Check out this great shot of The Husband enjoying his brunch. Don't you wish you could eat brunch today? (I do!)

At Banana Republic I saw a woman with two toy poodles in a stroller. And then we walked through St. Anne’s church on Montague, which grand and beautiful. And then I went home to my clean bathroom, my pretty flowers, and my Amish pretzels.

Amish pretzels!


Take Me Out To The Ball Game

Yesterday The Husband successfully aged a year.  He turned 28 with all the grandeur and opulence one would expect of a world class gentleman such as he. With baseball and cheesecake.

Such is the love I have for The Husband that I agreed to attend a Yankees game with him. Yikes!

We got there good and early to take in the stadium. The pipe organ played "It's A Small World," and "If I Were a Rich Man" from Fiddler On The Roof.

Every time the Yankees are up to bat the stadium echoes with a trumpet cadence and the crowd yells "Charge!" Every time this happened the guy directly behind us would chime in his CHARGE! about a beat and a half late. Let me tell you it was funny every time. He never let me down. Was I drunk? No. Was he drunk? It is likely.

A guy behind me had the LOUDEST. CLAP. EVER. It was just awful. I gave him the evil eye twice and apparantly my evil eye needs some work cause it didn't do nothing.

So, baseball.

Happy Birthday, Baby. Guess who loves you.