Friday, December 28, 2007

Blog Entries From the Past #1: The Amazing Maize Maze

First, please let me apologize for not keeping up with my blog. My... one?... reader must be very disappointed. In November I attempted to write a novel (10,000 words was my grand total, a great distance from my goal of 50,000) and go to graduate school simultaneously. At least I succeeded at one of them! However, I have been sitting on 7 blog entries that I thought would be interesting to write at some point or another. A few of them are irrelevant, and probably won't get written about, but a few I really want to do. So, this feels a little half-assed, but let me present you with #1 in a series: Blog Entries From the Past! So enjoy a photo-blog about my journey through the Amazing Maize Maze!!!
The Amazing Maize Maze

This fall two friends, my loyal husband and I went on a journey like no other. We drove to the edges of this outer borough to the Queens Farm Museum to get lost among the corn.

First, we acclimated ourselves to our new, less-than-urban surroundings by visiting with the animals:

birds of a featherFat Pig- Profilewhat do you want?

Then we got our bearings, left the cuteness of the farm and scoped out our nemisis: the corn

corn and big sky

It was vast, let me assure you.

Our mission was to head through the maze collecting puzzle pieces (which would theoretically help guide us through the maze), answering questions to complete a word scramble and completing the maze in a respectable amount of time. We gathered our supplies and prepared to head into the abyss of corn with a tall flag as our only guide.

And so we begin!

Let me tell you, it's tough out there in the corn. You get a little crazy...

brianna loves the maize!brianna gets dizzy

Well, at least Brianna does.

S and I, the avowed nerds of the group, made everyone answer every question and find every piece of the puzzle.

sabrina finds another part of the puzzle

And so we eventually succeeded, over the bridge and back to Kansas (the maze had a Wizard of Oz theme... I don't get it either). The guy there to validate our time thought we might be a little crazy. Which, well, we were. We're three adults who just completed a corn maze for the sheer joy of it, no children of appropriate corn-maze enjoyment age in sight (though we did try to get a 3 year old on our team. No dice).

Amy's complted mazeguy at the end of the mazesuccess!

Though we did get a little stuck at the word scramble. Luckily, the greatest brains of our time (well, that I know that were in the maze with me) were on it.

brianna, sabrina and joe working hard

Then, at the end of the maze you meet.... the wizard! Which is basically some guy who gives a running commentary of all the excitement at the maze, and exit interviews as people leave:

the wizard

All in all, it was a nice way to spend one a beautiful fall day, and something I would do again. It's the kind of experience you don't think you can get in NYC, and it was nice to be proved wrong on that count. Queens. What can't you do? (Ohhh... a new slogan methinks? Call the borough president, stat!)

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Random Pseudo-Celebrity Sighting

I was getting a snack duirng the break of my class today, and I totally saw one of the contestants from Project Runway. At least I'm pretty sure it was him. He kind of just looked like a guy, but one that I was like... "I know him! OH! It's that guy!" I don't even know which contestant. I'll try to find a picture online and figure out his name! Ah! His name is Jack Mackenroth, 38, and I just spoiled myself searching the internet for a picture (I'm watching the episode now).

This happened to me once before. In 2006, Joe and I were at Brooks Brothers so he could wear a fancy shirt to our wedding. He was paying and I was walking around outside in a light misty rain. All of the sudden this guy walked very precisely up to the window while spinning an umbrella to look at the display, with his entourage following him. I managed to get a good look, and it was Austin Scarlett!

Somehow I never, ever have New York City celebrity sightings by myself. I was literally two feet from Denzel Washington and I just walked right past him, thinking about how annoying it was that all these people were blocking the sidewalk. Luckily the person I was with was a little more observant! Yet somehow put me in the vicinity of a Project Runway contestant and I see nothing else.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Confessions of an Austen-ite

I have a confession. I am an Austen-ite. In college, during my semester abroad in Bath, England, an Oxford tutor whom was aptly named Lizzie encouraged my love of all things Jane Austen. We read her books-in order of publication, not written-, we watched movie adaptations, we visited her home and her grave. I was hooked.

As time went on, I suppose my love of Jane Austen faded into the background of my life. I didn't go out of my way to see the new Pride and Prejudice. I didn't reread my once much-loved tomes. I enjoyed my Austen "lite": laughing at the loose P&P frame of Bridget Jones' Diary, making references to Alicia Silverstone's stunning performance in Clueless.

Lately though, I've been getting back into my Austen groove. I watched the Keira Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice. Though some may consider it sacrilege, I thought it was a good adaptation. It wasn't four hours long (insert throat-clearing sound here), the setting was amazing and the general feel of it was nice. And it put me in the mood to read Austen some more. Last summer, I reread Persuasion, my favorite Austen novel. It is atypical of her usual setup and one that I knew I could read again and again. But over the long weekend I was horrified to realize that apparently, though I own some of Austen's lesser-read novels (Persuasion, Northhagner Abbey), I do not own Pride and Prejudice. It's on my to-buy book list now.

Because my Pride and Persuasion cravings couldn't be satiated by the book, I went for the next best thing: I watched the Bollywood version, Bride and Prejudice, which I have been sitting on for 2.5 years now. In case you were wondering, I don't know why I waited. It was awesome. Not only was it a satisfying and fun way to feed my Austen hunger, but it also helped ease the disappointment that Lost won't be on the air until January or February, as the talented and gorgeous Naveen Andrews was cast in the role that would have been Mr. Bingley.

So, obviously, when I saw this quiz on-line, I couldn't resist. For my senior year of high school, Pride and Prejudice was the fall play. I was cast in the role of Kitty and got to flit around the stage giggling and flirting with all of the handsome soldiers. Thankfully, the gods of the internets seemed to have a bit more faith in me, and my quiz answers cast me in the coveted role of Elizabeth Bennet.

Which Pride and Prejudice Girl Are You?
created with
You scored as Elizabeth

I am Elizabeth. I am headstrong and intelligent. I love to be myself, and am very loyal to my family. I can sometimes be prideful and "prejudiced," but I try to remain open minded and I usually regret past mistakes.









Mrs. Bennet






Monday, November 12, 2007

Frekin' NaNoWriMo

You're falling a little behind. But don't worry, just try to write 2480 words a day and you'll still make it.

11/12 5,343 1,156 44,657 445 2,350 February 20, 2007 11%

This year is my third competing in NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. A significantly less public but a bit crazier cousin of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), NaNoWriMo is the way that once a year I decide that "really, I should start writing again", and actually do it. Grant you, I don't think my submission for NaNo is particularly good (thankfully, and unlike NaBlo, no one will ever actually be forced to read it), and sadly I have never reached the 50,000 word mark where victory lies. But for one month in the year, I get to really think of myself as a writer. I create characters and a world. I decide relationships and fates. Even at day 12 and 5,343 pathetic words in, I can be proud of the fact that I wrote 11% of a novel. I can enjoy the fact that today I wrote 1,156 words that I would most certainly not have written if this imaginary deadline was not looming over my head.

Right now I'm in grad school, I work and I have delusions of having a life that I'm really not willing to give up for any internet contest. I probably won't reach the 50K word mark again this year (unless I manage to write 2,480 words a day until November 30th). In fact, part of me feels a little guilty that I'm wasting 325 words (326) here (327) instead (328) of (329) putting them in my novel. But I suppose we all must sacrifice for our art. (344)

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Wine Club- October 2007- Organic Wines

I'm taking over for Kajal this month's wine club blog entry. We met at Gia's apartment to try our assortment of Organic wines. Surprisingly, our fare was mainly red wines at a 5:1 ratio, which ended up dispelling some myths about organic reds (mainly that due to lack of sulfates, they would not be as good) and playing risk with the white carpet. Thankfully, we were all (carpet included!) happy with the results of the evening.

The first wine we tried was a Bonterra Cabernet Savignon, 2005 vintage. Bonterra is a California vineyard in the Mendocino region. We found it a very drinkable, basic red. It had a mellow taste and was described as a good steak wine. We felt that it would hold up well to food without overpowering it.

Our next wine was a Vicien Syrah, 2004 vintage. Vicien is an Argentinian winery in the Catamarca region. It had a much more distinct almost peppery start and moved to a quick ending. As a group, we were not sure how we felt about it at first, but by the end, it ended up being one of the favorites of the evening. It was a definite "buy again" wine, and at around $11 a bottle, an affordable one at that.

This was followed by the Arbanta Organic Rioja, 2005 (I think. There was not a date on the bottle or on FreshDirect). This wine had a yeasty smell that was almost bread like. Someone described it as apple-pie like, though we were not sure if that part was coming from the apple crisp that was warming in the oven. The wine started with a fruity flavor on the tongue- a little bit of cherry or plum- and ended on an almost citric note with hints of grapefruits.

Our last red was a Frey Syrah, 2006 another California wine. It starts with a walnut like aroma and then has tastes of grapes (ha!), cinnamon, black cherry and has a peppery burst.

The last wine of the evening was our white. Because it was a Riesling, we felt that we should save it for dessert and pair it with the apple crisp we had been smelling all evening. The Domaine Mittnacht Freres Riesling, 2005 was our only French wine. At first taste, we did not feel it was a very Riesling-ish Riesling. It was a dry wine with a bit of an alcohol-y taste to it. However, it was not a bad wine, and the more you drank it and didn't have expectations for it, the better it became. Though unexpected, it was not a bad way to end our evening.

In addition to our usual gossip and chatter, we had a more wine-topical discussion as well. We realized that despite holding our monthly meetings for almost a year, we weren't sure we knew that much more about wine than we did before. Were Syrahs always peppery? What were the qualities of a good Cabernet Savignon? Sadly, none of us could really answer these questions, though we felt like we should be able to. Were we gaining knowledge in our monthly meetings, or only hangovers? We had tweaked our methods before- taking smaller portions of each of the wines in order to have a clear head by the last bottle- and have decided that we are going to try to have the worthy goal of having learned something about the wine (or wine in general) by the end of each meeting. We also decided that we should continue our tradition of having sparkling wines as January's wine club. See why you shouldn't miss meetings Kajal?

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I seem to enjoy labeling pictures on my blog as "exhibits". Maybe I should have been a lawyer.

Things About Milwaukee That Make Me Happy

My computer didn't want to download the pictures from our trip, but technical difficulties are over. So, ladies and gentlemen, I give you the full photo-version of:

Things About Milwaukee That Make Me


(I'm not limiting this list to ten because I think it's possible I'm going to come up with more than ten things. Plus, I gotta show range.)
  1. Visiting old friends! K & B have a beautiful house with a cool yard and a kooky neighbor (well, a retired man they dubbed "Mr. McGregor" due to his pristine garden and the rabbits that like to frequent it). If I haven't told them enough, thank you thank you thank you!!!! We had the best time and you guys went above and beyond to be the best hosts ever! Thank you!
  2. Crazy Cats. Martin and Lewis, our gracious host's cats are prone to wacky antics like sneaking into our room despite J's allergy, crawling into baskets and having wrestling matches that you can dub over in funny voices.
  3. I is going to get u!
  4. BEER!!! We drank a lot of it. And all the beer we drank was made in Wisconsin, if not in Milwaukee itself making our experience extremely authentic. We left wondering if we could ever drink imported beer again.

  5. triple fisting??? crop
  6. The Miller Factory. It is massive and pretty amazing. We had the first of our Milwaukee beers there, because it is J's favorite beer. K and J had debates on the merits of "Lite" versus "high life". I think we all know who won:
    The High Life Van...
    There was more beer at the Miller Factory then you can even imagine- football fields worth of beer that leave within a day. Frankly, this picture doesn't even do the big-room-o-beer justice:
    More beer than you could ever drink....
    1. Miller Sub Topic: Free (postage included) postcards: Yes, at the Miller Factory you can write out and have the gigantic mega-corporation mail out (free of charge) as many postcards as you can think of address for. Not knowing all that many addresses between us, J and I decided to send ourselves a card, and K and I each wrote out a card to a random student at our Alma Mater. Some other prominent US residents may have gotten a post card as well. Next time I'm bringing my address book!
      so many postcards
  7. Lakefront Brewery!!! (Brief interruption to note that I'm already on number five and in Milwaukee-time it's still "Day 1") Lakefront was not only a brewery tour, but an opportunity for drunken debauchery with a fish fry and polka. So it pretty much had everything. You pay five dollars and the nice people at Lakefront give you a plastic cup-
    Exhibit A:
    Lakefront Brewery-- before the tour
    Then you start the tour by filling up the cup. You are encouraged to refill your cup throughout the tour at will. During the first 5-10 minutes, you can go back to the first tap, but after that you might want to jog ahead to the next tap. I missed the middle of the tour. Whoops! Luckily, this just means that I got first look at all the Brewer's paraphernalia from the old stadium:
    Lakefront Brewery giant mug
    After the tour ended with a rousing rendition of the Laverne and Shirley theme song, complete with glove-on-beer bottle
    homage to Laverne and Shirley
    we were off to...
    1. Lakefront Sub Topic: the Fish Fry! Fried fish, polka dancing, bubble machines and voucher coupons that we forgot about! What could be better?
      Amy and Joe polka
    2. Lakefront Sub Topic: Melissa! No clue who she was, but we had a great time joking around with her, polka-ing with her and toasting with her. Plus she gave us our chorus for the rest of the weekend: "Heyyyyyy!!!!" Clink!
  8. The Milwaukee Art Museum. It was raining, so I didn't get a shot of the outside (and there was water on my lens, so my inside shots have a spot!), but the architecture was amazing and there was the biggest wedding I have ever seen in my entire life was being set up. I am envious of all the women I saw getting their wedding photos shot around that museum. We didn't stay to see an exhibit, but just stopping by the building was totally worth it.
    Window- different anglewindows and angles
  9. Alterra Coffee. Great coffee shop. Fun location. Makes even airplane coffee bearable. So happy. The perfect stop on a rainy day.
  10. Watching baseball in the pouring, miserable rain! Yes, our trip to Milwaukee was marred by poor weather. Luckily for us, Miller Stadium has a dome. We had field level seats in which to watch the Brewers kick butt and WIN! K & B even gifted us with gear, so we looked the part of good Brewer's fans when we watched the cheerleaders do their thing. Yeah, I don't really get the whole cheerleaders at a baseball game thing either, but there you go.
    Cheerleaders at a baseball game?And he throws!
    1. Brewer's Game sub topic: Sausage Race! No, not that. Get your mind out of the gutter! At Brewer's Stadium, in addition to a man who is dressed up like a viking and goes down a slide every time there's a home run as seen in Exhibit B:
      Bernie's dugout
      there are human sized sausages, with faces, competing in a foot race. Bratwurst versus Chorizo . Polish Sausage versus Italian Sausage. Hotdog versus everyone. Though it is a shame that delicious meats have to compete in this way for my amusement (can't we all just get along?), and the odds were on Polish Sausage (crowd favorite with 26% of the text messaging public betting on it) I went with the long shot Chorizo (only garnering a modest 12% of the vote) and we WON! Whoo!!! Yes, you heard that right. Not only did the Brewers kick serious butt, but so did Chorizo. Could a baseball game be any better??? Here's a picture as he edged in for the win:
      Chorizo edges in for the win!
  11. Homemade Indian Food. K & B are braver cooks than I and made us an Indian feast, complete with mango lassi and local beer. We ran around dancing and singing while cooking, and ended up with the most beautiful table ever which was captured forever in this photograph. Please enjoy this picture- it took a while to compose properly. I had to force K to pull out her tripod so I could get a clear shot in the low-light conditions. And yes, this dinner was as delicious and elegant and fun as it looks.
    the most beautiful dinner ever

  12. Drive In The sign says it all. The world's finest frozen custard. In fact, I suggest you get on a plane right this second and go to Milwaukee and get yourself a hot fudge sundae with pecans and extra cherries from Leon's. You would not regret that plane ticket at all. Don't quite believe me? It can't be that good? Doubters, I give you...
    Hot Fudge Custard Sundae with Butter Pecans and extra cherries. YUM.
    All Gone!
    Makes me want to get on a plane right now... Especially because on the plane, you get the final reason that Milwaukee makes me happy:
  13. Homemade Cookie on the Plane.Yes, midflight the good people at Midwest offer you two delicious, fresh, warm chocolate chip cookies. And when you notice that the crazy people around you are refusing theirs, and you make a comment to the flight attendant about how strange that is, you might end up with an extra! Pair that with a little Alterra coffee, and you might just come up with the best airline experience ever. Keep your fingers crossed that any airline takeovers won't mess up this good thing!

In conclusion, there are many, many things about Milwaukee that make me very, very happy. Being happy is nice. I totally recommend it. Maybe the next time I visit one more thing that makes me happy will happen, and it will be sunny! Sadly it rained most of the time we were there. After our rainy trip to Barcelona earlier in the year, we're beginning to think we're cursed!

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Stuipdest Idea Ever

Uh, change the shape and kids will drink more water? Lame.

Especially in light of recent news awareness about bottled water and it's effect on the environment (and seeing how the US has some of the best tap water in the world), it seems morally reprehensible that companies are marketing bottled water directly to children. Do they really think that a "new orbatstic shape" makes boring old Poland Spring bottle so exciting that kids won't be able to keep their dirty little mitts off of it? Shame on you Nestle.

Now, I'm all about kids drinking more water. At work I see kids drinking sugary crap all the time. But as a society, is this really the best we can do? In college it was encouraged to be environmentally friendly in your drinking habits. Why can't we get the younger generation in those same healthy habits?

Of course, I'm not entirely blameless here. I still drink bottled water myself, though I do try to recycle my water bottles, both personally (I almost always use them more than once, braving toxins from the plastic) and in the bigger picture (NYC recycles!). I should follow the good example of my good friend S, however, and make it a point to carry around a grown-up version of my good ol' enviro-mug.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Pet Peeve

When I open my oven and go to move some food around and the mascara on my eyelashes melt together.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

We're gonna make our dreams come true. Doin' it our way

This coming weekend, my husband and I are going where the greats have gone before us (See: Laverne and Shirley, Gene Wilder, Frederick Pabst, Fredrick Miller, Joseph Schiltz and Valentine Blatz!!) and heading to Milwaukee, Wisconsin!

You may ask, "Milwaukee? Why????"

In fact, we get that a lot. (You can picture my very pretty friend and Milwaukee resident K sticking her tongue out at you here for deigning to ask such a question). Firstly and foremostly, we're going to visit the above mentioned K and her husband B (names have been adjusted to initials to protect the innocent). Secondly, we're going because of my husband's love of baseball stadiums. We have sweet tickets to Saturday's game of the Brewers versus the Reds and number 7 clicked off the list.

Thirdly, we're going for the beer.

I have never really liked beer. In college I had a wicked "beer face" that I made whenever I tried to take a little itty bitty sip of beer. My lips would pucker and my eyes would close and my entire countenance was one of unhappiness. However, in the past ten years or so since I first developed my face, I have become much more tolerant towards beer. One might even go so far as to say that I like it.

I attribute this change in tastes to my brief sojourn in Bath, England where the beverage of choice is beer. However, like most of the other women on my trip, I would order pints of British cider. Unlike American cider, which tastes more akin to a malt beverage than a beer; British cider is very dry (which is easily remedied by having your local barkeeper add "black" or black currant syrup-- called a "cider and black" yum!) and resembles beer more than it resembles the apple-y goodness of Woodchuck. While in Bath I fancied myself as something of a cider connoisseur, adjusting my palate so I preferred the sharpness of Blackthorn to the smoothness of Strongbow, and weaning myself off of the currant syrup. By the time I got back to the States and tried to continue my cider obsession there, I found I couldn't. Some people will argue that American beer is inferior to English and Irish beers. I would argue that it is more the cider that can not stand up to the Brits. And so began my slow decent to becoming a beer-drinker.

Once graduated from college and working an entry-level job, this trend strengthened. Back up at my good ol' alma mater, a trip to the bar for an evening of mixed drinks would cost you $6-$10 and get you throughly hammered. A basic Vodka Cranberry would cost a whopping $2 ($2.50 if you were all fancy and wanted Absolute or some such pretension) and be 90% vodka, 10% cranberry. But down in NYC, one single vodka cranberry costs at least $6 and is not nearly as potent, whereas you can buy a domestic beer for a piddling $4! So, beer it is!

Nowadays I tend to order wine or beer instead of standing at the bar perplexed, contemplating exactly what fancy drink I want to order (though my drinks of choice are: Vodka Cranberry with lime juice; Jack and Ginger; Rum and Coke with lime juice; or anything that they can put a cherry in), annoying the barkeeper and all of the friends I am with. I'm still a kind of wussy beer drinker, but I know what I like and what I don't. I don't like the flavor of hops (!?!) so I prefer Lagers to Ales. I don't like dark beers. I will happily sit with my husband and down Miller Lites (sic) in perfect bliss. On fancy occasions I'll go all out and order a Stella or a Harp.
But if on tap I see the siren draw of Blackthorn or Strongbow ciders, I smile in contentment, knowing this is a true Irish pub and I sigh in a blissful way and go back to my roots.

So Milwaukee, we're looking forward to coming. We plan to eat Brats, drink beer and watch baseball like locals...

Give us any chance we'll take it.

Give us any rule, we'll break it.

When I return, I promised K that I would post on the top 10 awesome things about Milwaukee. But in the meantime I have a few other posts up my sleeve...

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Ten Awesome Things About Vermont

Warning: I can only think of about 3 awesome things about Vermont offhand. That means that some of these awesome things are going to be stretches, and might not be altogether awesome. Sadly, "Three Awesome Things About Vermont" just doesn't have the same ring to it... They are listed in order of "perhaps not so awesome" (#10)- to "definitely awesome" (#1). So now that you've been properly warned, I give you....

Ten Awesome Things About Vermont

10: There are no billboards in Vermont. I did not really notice this offhand, but this website swears to it, and now that I think back on it, I kind of agree with them!

9: There is great outlet shopping in Vermont, where I got two awesome pairs of pants and a cute pair of shoes.

8: Vermont has interestingly shaped trees (I told you this was going to be a stretch).

7: There aren't too many roads in Vermont, so if you get horribly lost at 10'oclock at night, it's not too hard to figure out where you're supposed to go (not that we would know from personal experience or anything...).

6: Vermont has the Simon Pierce Glass Company where you can visit and watch as guys make wineglasses and say, "Huh, maybe that $50 per glass price tag is kind of reasonable seeing how it takes 3 guys ten minutes a glass...." They are also environmentally friendly, making their own sustainable electricity by dam.

5: Vermont is easily drivable from NYC. This makes it an easy weekend getaway without feeling like we're somewhere we've been fifty million times before.

4: Vermont's off-peak season is summer! Take that all you suckers who wait to see the beautiful fall foliage and great skiing! We got a bed and breakfast to ourselves and lovely weather to go boating, swimming and to sit and relax with a good book and friendly inn-keepers on the front porch!

3: Vermont has fun breweries like Long Trail and Harpoon. We would have liked to have gone to Magic Hat as well, but it was too far away. And might I say that Long Trail has a very good lunch menu with generous sizes, including hot wings.

2: Vermont has beautiful nature! Every so often I would look around and just sigh about how pretty everything was. Yea nature!

1: Vermont has street signs that tell you how far away popular destinations are. It was awesome. We would be ready to keep an eye out for a turn or a road when all of the sudden, there would be a sign announcing the exact destination we were looking for. It was surprisingly like a road-trip business plan that Brianna and I had envisioned during a particularity nerve wracking trip from school to NYC.

vermont sign

The worst thing about Vermont is that things close really early-- we went into Woodstock, VT at 5:30 on a Saturday and the only things open were a coffee/tea shop (which was super cute, but was closing any second) and a restaurant/bar. Luckily, this gave us a good excuse to drink yummy local beer (see awesome thing #3).

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

And the verdict is...

"Best year old cake I've ever had"-- Joe

Yes, ladies and gents, eating our wedding cake 364 days later was an amazing experience. We commented that it was a shame that we didn't freeze *all* of the leftover cupcakes so that we could have enjoyed this delicious cake once a month since the wedding, instead of just once, a year later.

We were about to leave for our fun filled anniversary weekend in Vermont when we realized that if we didn't eat the cake now, it would not get eaten. It had already sat in our refrigerator for a week and likely would not truly last the 3 days until our return. It seemed fairly sketchy to eat it at this point, as my previous entry attests to. So, as we had not yet eaten breakfast and were about to leave, I made the executive decision that breakfast would be year old cake. The gauntlet was drawn, our mission was clear, and so I procured two cake forks and a plate and proceeded to unwrap the half eaten cake that had been sitting in various freezers and refrigerators for the past year. Luckily for you, at this point I remembered to take pictures.

Exhibit A: Slightly smushed year old cake

Sitting at the dining room table, forks poised cautiously over the cake, neither of us knew what to expect. Little did we think that the outcome would have ended up so delicious. The cake was so good-- moist and chocolaty and the icing was sweet but not cloying. We were both surprisingly happy that both the cake had been saved and that we were eating it. We gave each other warnings that perhaps we should not eat a lot of the year old cake. It might not agree with my somewhat delicate stomach I mentioned as I ate yet another forkful.

Finally, willpower overcame our cake eating instincts and we discarded the remainder of our wedding cake and headed out on our vacation. Keep tuned in for my next installment:

10 Awesome things about Vermont

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

To Cake or Not to Cake

Right now in my refrigerator resides a year old piece of cake. Though I am sadly neglect when it comes to cleaning out old food and sometimes unearth wilted herbs and moldy fruit (hey, that's my dirt, not OPD!) this cake is not an unwitting science experiment. It has traveled many miles, from Geneva, NY to Long Island, NY to Catskill, NY and finally back down to good old Queens to sit in my refrigerator, waiting for my husband and I to take a bite of the cake we ate a year ago on our wedding day.

As you can imagine, year old cake does not inspire confidence in consumption. We received this cake from my inlaws (who have generously volunteered their freezer to its cause for the past year) on Saturday, and it has been sitting there, with it's smushed icing and chocolaty cake mocking me for the past four days. Which of course, harkens yet another question: How long does defrosted year old cake last in your refrigerator anyway? On one hand, it's a year old... is a few more days really going to hurt? But on the other hand, uh, it's a year old. Well, almost at least. Maybe sooner is better than later in terms of the eating. Don't want it to go... stale?

Though this cake was utterly wonderful on our wedding day-- so good that on our way out of the venue to the post-party (which was basically just beers at Odells-- aka flashback to 1998) I grabbed two cupcakes (best cake-option ever. Much neater to grab on your way out of the party in a gluttonous cake-double-fisting move) to nosh on on the ride home-- I am having serious doubts that it will be that delicious the second time around. Do I really want to taint my beautiful cake-binging memories? And of course, having this dilemma in the first place brings up serious "where in the hell did thiswacked up tradition come from anyway???"

My friends know me as something of a crazy wedding etiquette and tradition junkie due to my obsessive reading of indiebride , yet I can not think of anything I've read that tells where this crazy tradition came from-- and why my mom and MIL thought it was a perfectly logical one to keep, despite our somewhat a-traditional wedding. So, thanks to the unending amazingness of the internet after a few easy clicks, I seem to have come up with an answer....

The traditional wedding cake, often found in England, is the fruitcake. I think you can find adequate proof for this in the Briget Jones books. Brides (and I suppose grooms too) would traditionally save the top tier of this cake to save for the baptism of their first child... which would come no longer than 12 months after the blissful day they were wed. At least, this is the answer I got at yahoo answers, and the person who answered that question sourced Take from that what you will, but it seems pretty darn logical to me...

But as the husband and I don't have any christenings to plan as of this week, and our half a mini-cake would make a piss-poor christening cake, our cake remains what it started as-- a cold, edible enigma. Wish us luck as we attempt to eat year old cake and stave off food poisoning...

I'll add some pictures of our cake when I get less lazy and get my ass off of the couch.

As a side note, this post was the first I have done in my new firefox addon of Scribefire. It is awesome, as it keeps the internet in the top frame for easy access surfing of wedding related trivia as I blog. Can you imagine a more perfect world?

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Other People's Dirt

I have never been known as a "neat" person. Dirt really doesn't bother me in the slightest. In high school I was infamous for my room, where you could not see the floor for all the clothing strewn about. So you can imagine my surprise when after my recent move I discovered my extreme distaste for what I deemed "other people's dirt" (henceforth known as OPD).

I have, of course, encountered OPD in my life. I've lived in a total of three NYC apartments before buying this one, each coming with their own bits of dirt and grossness. However, the first two apartments had a definite sense of transience to them, as we were on year-long leases, and I don't think any of us thought of those apartments as long-term homes. Then, when I left the roommate-situation to live with my then-boyfriend/now-husband in his digs, all OPD was replaced by his dirt, which I could handle. But now in our Jackson Heights home, I was horrified by all the OPD I encountered.

We didn't have any down time between moving and closing, so we immediately started sleeping on an air-mattress while painting. I didn't like being on the floor and that close to OPD. While my husband primed every room in the apartment from it's neon huesdining room/living room- before, I started attacking the bathroom and then the kitchen with a bleach based spray, ridding all surfaces I could find of OPD so that it would be okay to shower/use the toilet/cook/store food. This involved removing all the shelves from all of the cabinets and scrubbing all of the hinges. Removing the (only two) drawers and scrubbing them inside and out. After I had done, my husband glanced under the sink and remarked that he had never seen under a sink look so clean. I refrained from remarking that was because under the sink at his apartment was kind of gross... especially because it had been my apartment too.

Now that the apartment feels more like "ours", and we've painted every vertical surface in the place, I don't really worry too much about Other People's Dirt. Though it's probably out there, lurking in corners and by molding. Perhaps tomorrow I will pull out the vacuum and start with the crevice tool...
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