9.30.2005

MY HUSBAND TELLS THE BEST JOKES



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.

9.29.2005

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.

9.27.2005

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.

9.24.2005

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!

9.22.2005

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.

9.16.2005

Update From New York


I wrote a little thinger for my husband’s company newsletter and today it was “published,” and so since inflicting my prose on a few Bates employees is not enough, I will post it here for you today!

This morning as we got ready for work we remarked how much the dark gray sky reminded us of Portland. As we walked out the front door of the lobby we were expecting the cold, drizzly Portland weather to greet us. Instead, it was 80 degrees and muggy as hell. For a minute, I guess we forgot we were in New York City.

Everything is different here. Even things which are exactly the same are different. Target looks the same on the inside, but when I temporarily go bonkers and buy out their whole inventory, I can't just toss it in the car and drive it home. I have to schlep it down subway stairs and through subway turnstiles. I have to lug it back up subway stairs and up to our apartment with the plastic handles cutting into my arms. I have perfected the revolving door technique so the bags don't get stuck, and by the time I get home I'm exhausted. Everyone go give your car a hug today.

Though our commute to work here isn't much longer than our commute was in Lake Oswego, the commute here is much hotter, stinkier, and grimier. You've never smelled real body odor until you're on a crowded subway, your face smack in some dude's armpit as he holds the railings above your head. But the people here are great; if they're not nice, they usually make up for it by being really entertaining.

New York City has the best sushi in the world. Brooklyn Heights is beautiful, and when we take walks in the evenings it's like being on a movie set. The brownstones are gorgeous! There is never nothing to do, and we have seen more celebrities than you could shake a stick at.

A few weeks back The Husband and I were sitting in Union Square eating hot dogs. We were sitting in a pretty crowded area when this guy wearing a blousy shirt, a Shakespearean collar, a crown made of white felt and rhinestones, a cape, and a skirt over his pants came over and stood in front of us and started un-stuffing a pillow. He put all the fluff up his skirt, in his sleeves, and down his shirt, so he looked like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. He then posed for us, flexing his poofy muscles. I looked around to see how everyone near us was reacting. The thing was, nobody seemed impressed. Sure, they looked at him, but they didn't smile or laugh, or even acknowledge the guy was there. Their faces were totally expressionless, and they went on as if nothing was happening. By this time the guy was wrapping his left foot in a plastic bag and had pulled the stuffing up around his face like a beard, still, nothing. 
That is SO New York City.

Hallelujah, Amen



Today while waiting for the subway
I watched a group of guys praying aloud in a circle. I was a bit wary; people do some strange things in the subways, maybe it’s the grimy heat that does people in? I’ll never know.

So they said their amens and then suddenly they broke into the most beautiful five-part harmony.

Their voices bounced off the subway tiles and echoed down the tunnels. Most of the commuters ignored it and went about their business, but it made me grin like a goof all the way home.

9.15.2005

Famous People


Did I ever tell you about the time I saw an Oscar winner in Brooklyn? 

B and I were busily walking to the Target on Atlantic Avenue (side note: never do that again!), when we saw Jennifer Connolly and Paul Bettany. I don't think anybody could love Paul Bettany as much as I do. He's just so geeky! They were in a toy store and even though B and I don't have kids, and don't really have toys either, we went in like we did and acted like total dorks. Jennifer Connolly is short and teeny tiny and had blotchy self-tanner spots on her ankles (life-affirming moment). Paul Bettany was tall and had a red jacket on and he was talking very loudly. Also I got to confirme my theory that he my B are dead-ringers and it made me intensely happy.

Once we were at a giant flea market in Hell's Kitchen and we saw Parker Posey, who was in You've Got Mail, which is hands down the most quoted movie in the Holbrook house. That same day at that very same flea market we also saw Marisa Tomei stroll in all beautiful and breezy and I tell you, The Husband fell in love. Bam! When I told my dad about it he said something about how she's such a cute girl and he's always really liked her, and his voice even got all misty. What is this strange power she has over men?

I saw Shia LeBeouf once in Little Italy on Mott Street. I may or may not have chased him into a deli.

Friday night in Times Square I saw Leon Hall. Does anybody know what he is up to these days? He used to do the Fashion Police with Joan Rivers back in the day? Believe it or not, he looks much better in person. His eyebrows aren't nearly as freaky in person as they are on my T.V. box.

9.13.2005

Thoughts On Life


SOME THOUGHTS

1. I got an email from B the other day, and it was cute, and he's adorable (especially with his new Lumberjack Beard he's growing for me, to prove his manly manhood). The email goes like this:

Well, the repairwoman called me from the home-line. It was funny to get a call from home cause I already have the number programmed so it showed up as home. But neither of us are there. But I got a call from home. What made it funnier was the first thing she said was "is anyone in your apartment right now?" I thought, you are...


2. We've been having a September! We saw Glengarry Glen Ross on our anniversary, saw The Lion King this weekend (made me wish I were a dancer), we did the US Open, we saw a Giants game yesterday, and we have tickets for a yankee's game on B's birfday. This is a lot of sports and I hope my husband appreciates the sacrifice. We're seeing Spamalot in January, and then!! The Westminster Dog Show (chills up and down my spine!) on Valentine's Day.

3. There was a man in line (on line?) next to me at Duane Reade today wearing pink lipstick, with a purse, carrying a silver wand with a star on top. I love it here.



4. Speaking of, yesterday was the 4th anniversary of 9/11. Being here is quite humbling. Last night they lit the beams at ground zero. The effect was beautiful. The photo at the top of this post was taken at the end of our street. Is that nuts or is that nuts!

9.08.2005

Chipotle I Love You


I made dinner last night for the first time in a month. This also happens to be how long we've lived in New York City. It's not the first time I've cooked or anything, cause I've made macaroni and cheese and a lot of ramen and a bowl of pasta once, but in terms of full-on dinner, last night's was the first. I'd forgotten how nice it is to cook and eat at home. Back in Portland we ate out rarely and usually had dinners at home. The evening seems longer, the food a little healthier, and if it wasn't for the dishes and the food splatters all over the countertops, I think I'd do this much more often.

Of course, in Portland it was simple.  There are cars and grocery stores that have everything all in one place. You don't have to hit three different grocery stores to get what you need, and you have a car to haul things back in. Here there are long lines and groceries that are too heavy to carry home, and don't forget I'm entirely on foot here and it is so much easier to call up the neighborhood Chinese joint or head down the street for some Chipotle burritos.

And that's really all I have to say about that.

9.07.2005

For Your Consideration


Here is something about New York that I do not understand:

Police sirens don't just turn on, they blip at you. It sounds like the poor siren is crying. I don't get it.

Sometimes they go "boop boooOOOOP?"

Today we were in the Duane Reade under the building and an ambulance drove by sounding that sad little siren, and I said "Don't cry, Ambulance," making that the fourth You've Got Mail quote of the day for me (a personal best). You'd be impressed and then quickly annoyed by how many times we can quote that movie in one day. Truly it's impressive.

9.05.2005

Some Things

A few thoughts on New York City:

(In no particular order.)

You don't stand "in line" in New York City, you stand "on line." "Next on line please!" This leads one to wonder: which is more accurate? I look down and see that I'm not actually standing ON a line on the floor, but then, am I really in a line? Have I been swallowed by the line? This is one of the many things in New York that are question-making to me.

Stoop sales are AWESOME.


Rush hour in New York is crrrazy. One morning last week we were standing on the platform waiting for the 4 train and when it finally came it was PACKED. It was so packed you couldn't have fit an extra thought in there. B and I looked at the train and then looked at each other kinda like "yeah right" and waited for the next train. Four minutes later another train came and guess what, still packed! So we swallowed our fear and elbowed our way in. Nose to armpit for 20 minutes.


Rats on the subway tracks are good luck. Well, probably not, but I think so. I saw a rat on the tracks today and got really excited. Then I got the last seat on the train, so there!


The subway is good for people-watching. Last night we went to the US Open. The subway ride back was a lesson in extreme invasions of personal space. It was so packed I couldn't move my arms and I could have let go of my purse and it wouldn't have moved thanks to the pressure of about 15 people pushing on it from all sides. Next to me was this guy, doesn't tie his shoes and wears his hat too big and has big diamond studs hanging from his ears kind of guy, and every few seconds he'd start rapping along with his music, I kind of had a crush on him.

New York is kinda rad. Let's stay forever!


I even like Brooklyn!


The end.

9.04.2005

In Which I Love The Target

I love the Target. Can I just tell you? I love the Target. I have a testimony of the Target. In fact, let's be honest here, I'd live at the Target if they sold beds like at Macy's.

(That has always been a dream of mine; living in a mall and browsing from store to store after hours, and sleeping in a Ralph Lauren bed on the 3rd floor of Sears, and eating nothing but Wetzels Pretzels and Orange Julius and Panda Express and trying on shoes at Nordstrom all night long.)

Truthfully, I can't make it out of the Target without spending at least $100 on wonderfully useless things. It is always surprising to me how quickly little cheap things can become so very expensive, and today's Target day was just a day like that.

Today's Target day was the same as always and yet so, so different, and discombobulating (a fantastic word), and disorienting, and so now here is the story of today's Target Day, a.k.a., How I Learned How to Shop in NYC The Hard Way.



So let's set the stage. The Brooklyn Target. Atlantic Avenue.

They all have the same things and the same dollar section (ohhh, my love the dollar section!) and essentially the same layout, except the Brooklyn Target is two stories tall and has two escalators; one for you, one for your cart, and the Brooklyn Target is the only Target in all of New York City and it is super fantastically crazy there. I got in cart fender-benders (risked my life!), got boxed-in at the electronics section, and I stepped on at least three smallish kids, but I had a list and I am a pro and I was going to SURVIVE.

We just moved to New York City and my freakishly small apartment has no trashcan, no towels, no pillows, sheets, shampoos, soaps, toothpastes, or dishes. This apartment has no hangers, no laundry detergent, no nothing.

This is something like the third or fourth apartment I've set up in my silly life, and I will tell you right now that I am not bragging when I say I'm a bit of an expert at buying all the condiments you will need in your fridge in order to survive in one big huge shopping excursion. I know how to buy a spice rack, folks. It's like, super easy, you load up your cart, you load up your car, then you spend all week unloading the car and finding homes for things, and then it's like you've been there forever, you know? Forever and ever amen and I'm really ridiculously good at it, is all I'm saying.

So I was going through the motions, right? Pillows: into the cart. Candles: into the cart. Ajax and Soft Scrub: into the cart. Cute tee-shirts because I felt like I deserved it: into the cart. Right?

The lines at Brooklyn Target are insanely insane. They're long. They're soo long. I had finally gotten up to the front and had all my Target goodies rung up and double-bagged and put back in the cart and as I wheeled the cart toward the front entrance, all my Target bags teetering perilously taller than my head, I remembered that I no longer owned a car.

(I no longer own a car!)

And the security guard was giving me this look, like he knew I obviously had no idea what I was doing, or else I'd have a team of line backers to carry everything home for me, and seriously, what was I thinking?

And that's when I realized I'd have to carry everything I bought home, and that in order to get home I had to walk four blocks in the heart of stinking Brooklyn, in the height of stinking sweltering summer, and then somehow make it through the stinking subway turnstiles in one go, even though me and all my bags were the width of three stinking subway turnstiles easily, and then holy moley did I get one wicked case of buyers remorse, my friends!

No I didn't panic. Okay maybe a smidge. I mostly calmly assessed the situation. I was about to attempt the impossible: I was going to carry a $300 Target bonanza all the way to the subway, and then all the way home.

I loaded up my arms. The plastic handles cut into my skin. Now is not a time for pain, I told myself. Now is a time for heroes!

And I did it! Me and my trash can and my broom and my eight million cleaning products and my sheets and towels and moisturizer and food and dishes and candles and bed raisers and hangers and dryer sheets and a Sigur Ros CD for good measure, we made it home. Sweaty, exhausted, but in one piece.

I fought the Brooklyn Target today, my friends. I fought it, and I won.