things i appreciated about jury duty:

001 free internet / common use laptops in the waiting room. i didn't queue for one - still a bit traumatized by the Everybody Computer i used at my youth hostel in amsterdam - but hey, nice touch.

002 the soap in the ladies' room smelt of white gummi bears.*

003 the arts and crafts (by new york city court employees) exhibit in the lobby of the court building. and i thought i was eclectic. these people crochet wedding dresses for barbies, construct needlepoint villages, paint cyborgs, weld stained glass...awesome. i've never been to a gallery show that included artist factoids like "employee, queens criminal court." they need to put this stuff on a website.

004 an earnest note on the coke machine that encouraged jurors to shop around for water, as the bottles therein were a better value than those in the snapple machine across the lunch room.

005 getting to imagine that i was a law & order guest star as i climbed up and down the courtroom steps.

006 getting to embellish said guest appearance with my own L&O thunk-thunks and scene-change captions (QUIZNO'S, OCTOBER 30).

007 the excuse to buy a book (zadie smith's on beauty - fast-paced, decent).

008 serving my country while reading about lindsay lohan. democracy, i salute you.

*random aside: apparently "white gummy bear" is a secret order at jamba juice, a la the 'animal style' and '3-by-3' special burgers from in-n-out. "cranberry craze" would be one, too, but apparently the recipe disappeared with the menu listing. bite me, jamba juice.


our halloween-related program activities have been pretty pathetic this year. the word on the street is that there's a pumpkin shortage (there's a fungus among us), and the ones i've seen on eighth avenue are going for $25 apiece; i can't go for that.* our rubber bats, jenna and barbara, are buried somewhere in my mammoth pile of craft supplies, and i'm too lazy to dig them out. and joe? joe doesn't do halloween. like i said, pathetic.

in the absence of inhabitant-generated holiday flava, the apartment itself has stepped up: it smells like death. the stank began a few days ago as the occasional rancid zephyr, and we thought someone had thrown garbage into the alley next to our building. on wednesday, it had become an assy wave that crested at the bedroom door, so i yanked everything out from under the bed in search of cat...i don't know. it wasn't the cats' fault, or under the bed. by last night, when it had ripened into an open-handed slap to the soul, we realized that it actually was death. something expired in the ceiling and, reheated by the radiator pipe that runs along my side of the bed, has been calling to us through loose plaster around the top edge of the pipe.

people, it isn't good. our building is 125 years old, and ripping out the ceiling to extract whatever the hell is up there (aside from being totally hypothetical, since our super would never materialize to do it) would take forever and probably flatten us all. the corpse isn't coming out, and it's going to kill us softly instead, odor receptor by odor receptor. happy halloween to you, too, apartment.

*(no can do)


it isn't simply that i need one of these; it's that i can't think of anyone who doesn't.


101 in 1001: 036 have a meal at a 'raw food' restaurant [completed 10.13.06]

napoleon of black trumpet mushrooms

joe, phil, dave, and i braved the spookies of friday the 13th and checked out pure food and wine near union square. i was pretty excited; as sara noted when we chatted the other day, the food looks gorgeous (on their site, mind you - i know my photo stinks), and local foodie sites seem up on the place. two raw dishes and $75/person later, i say...meh. raw* food, like other vegan food, calls for a special kind of thinking: if you compare it to with eggy/milky/meaty versions of the same dish, you're going to be disappointed. unfortunately, raw food chefs like to mimic regular menu items, which is wildly hit-or-miss. my appetizer (above), a napoleon of black trumpet mushrooms, was fabulous; the cashew 'cheese' wasn't cheesy, per se, but the texture was pleasant and the pinot noir sauce was lovely. my entree, on the other hand, was chalky parsnip 'pasta' with seriously overherbed sauce. joe said it reminded him of savory key lime pie, and if that sounds good to you, i'm never coming to a dinner party at your house. dessert - particularly dave's mint chip ice cream - was spectacular and is available for take-out; if you feel like going raw, i recommend picking up a carton of that** and skipping the full sit-down experience. then again, it's no secret that i have a white trash palate - if a splashy, wacky dinner is up your alley, give the ol' raw food a try. it's certainly singular.

*per PF&W, "the term raw refers to keeping all of the ingredients under 118 degrees. this preserves food's natural enzymes which catalyze digestion. wheat, dairy, soy and refined sugars are naturally omitted in raw food preparation."

**lord only knows how much it would cost, though; raw ice cream is coconut meat and cashew sweetened with agave nectar, which is freakishly expensive on its own. the restaurant's snack site suggests calling for prices.


1: who would win in a fight between simple minds and echo & the bunnymen?
2: they are evenly matched.
1: the intro would be great.


here's proof that i'm getting old. a birthday is the perfect excuse to scratch something off of my 101 in 1001 list (040 have my palm read in a psychic's parlor), what with the beginning of my saturn return* - i'm sure a palmister would have lots of exciting things to say about the death of youth (or, you know, a long voyage i'll take over the sea). i was thinking along those lines on a walk around the block when i turned the corner and saw this:

the midtown psychic

the young, interesting me would have gone for it, but the new, responsible me is in the middle of closing an issue of the ladymag and can't dematerialize for more than five minutes at a stretch. oh, fun. it was nice to know you.

*you can take the girl out of the san francisco hippie shit, but you can't take the san francisco hippie shit out of the girl.


our hulking framed wedding photos (me and the missus in the parking lot [hee] and the group shot from the stanford house) came back from the art studio yesterday. my professional-discount-related glee was somewhat lessened by Framing Guy's utter and unwarranted bitchiness. i agree that joe physically presenting the receipt (which was at work with me) would have been best, but since i 1) called ahead of time to say that my husband would be picking up so-and-so order number, no we don't have the same last name but here's his, and 2) both of the framed pictures were of joe, i think it would have been safe for Guy to assume that we weren't art thieves.

why, one might ask, am i telling you this? because i wanted to flesh out a post that would otherwise have consisted entirely of my new favorite amazon page - that is, this dude's registry for his marriage to mariah carey.


George Foreman GR10AWHT Champ Grill
Antique White Lamp Base
Martex Egyptian Washcloth 2-Pack, Navy
Velocity DVD-R 4X 4.7GB Inkjet White Printable (100-Spindle)
Boston Red Sox 2004 World Series Champions Authentic Collection Cap


101 in 1001: 050 complete at least 3 more learning to love you more assignments [ongoing]
Assignment #63
Make an encouraging banner.

Think of something encouraging you often tell yourself. For example: Everything will be ok. Or: Don't listen to them. Or: It'll blow over. Now draw each letter of the sentence on a large piece of colored construction paper or big squares of fabric. One letter per piece. Draw them blocky so you can cut them out. Cut them out. Glue each one onto a piece of construction paper or fabric that is a contrasting color. Then glue the edges of all the pieces of paper or fabric together to make a banner. Hang the banner in a place where you or someone else might need some encouragement, for example, across your bathroom. Or between two trees so that you and your neighbors can receive encouragement from it. Or in a gas station.
my report, courtesy of my sister (the phrase) and made of felt (the banner):



the dirty dozen: october doldrums edition* [part 3]:

009 my cold-weather thing is, apparently, buying a frivolous stuffed beast; i am a ten-year-old. last year it was yul; this year, it's - shame! - a starbucks halloween creature.** i'd post a picture (as it's quite cute, naturally), but i promised myself that i wouldn't pull the trigger unless i successfully pitched a lifestyle story at work; since i failed there, i decided that it shall be hidden until said successful pitch.

010 at the other end of the spectrum, there's absolutely nothing wrong with buying swag to pay for a dog's cancer treatments, especially when the swag says I [HEART] TRIPODS. behold the 'i heart tripods' blog, and the story of lulu the three-legged dog. give her all of your money. go on.

011 the ladymag had a four-way surprise party yesterday morning for me, a fellow newlywed, and two very pregnant coworkers. the format pleased me, as my card-and-massage-certificate-opening shared stage time with baby swag praise and another bride's stories. i still choked when it was my turn to talk, though, which is fucking frustrating: i've made peace with the fact that i'm no longer the full-of-herself teenager who could speak in front of a thousand people and wear 8" platforms to class without batting an eye, but it would be nice to talk to a few dozen benevolent colleagues without losing my voice. i think of situations like those whenever someone argues that medication alters one's authentic personality: what if the other me is the one i'm supposed to be? i'm not unhappy now, not at all, but i know that if i decide to pharm it up again someday, i won't flinch. suck it, tom cruise.

012 celebrities v. giant inflatable rats, the worldwide fug edition.
woo woo, haylie duff! semi-famous siblings shouldn't count, you say? i spend enough time over at go fug yourself that passing miz duff on the way home from work (wearing black leggings, no less) is, honestly, up there with the q&a with james carville a few weeks ago.***

rats: 3.5
star: 8

*i shouldn't be bored, since october is easily my favorite month. we have a remedy (we have?): henceforth it's rocktober.

**i don't actually hate starbucks; i quite like clean bathrooms, and the word on the street is that they treat their employees quite well. i simply prefer to purchase beasts from people who make them by hand (like beth, whose critters are gorgeous).

***however, i do not consider haylie duff my boyfriend.


the dirty dozen, october doldrums edition [part 2]:

005 look, ma, i'm * in rolling stone ** ! savor it: something tells me it's my first and last appearance.

006 i feel i've mentioned before that i don't know how housing etiquette works in the non-dorm world (can you curse out the window if neighbor guy won't turn his alarm off on the weekend? what about banging a shoe on the ceiling?). it's still true: the missus and i were jolted awake at three thirty this morning by someone buzzing the doorbell, over and over and over again, and i blanked on the appropriate adult response. at a normal hour, i'd get on the intercom and - provided my perky wifey "hello?" yielded a response other than "i'm coming to kill you with a cheese grater" - let the buzzer in (everyone deserves a hand when they forget their keys). at three thirty, i don't answer at all and fantasize about dropping an egg from the window. in my defense, the late night buzzers usually are cheese grater psychos who don't answer; the plaza across the street summons them in droves.

007 i have a theory, and it is that joe and i should go to montreal. we'll have neither the money nor the vacation time to get this done until, oh, spring if we're lucky, but i fancy having a trip to anticipate - and i have all of these planning muscles, see, from throwing together the handy dandy overseas wedding. it would be criminal to let those atrophy. the travel sites tell me that the cheapest flights to the area are actually to burlington, vermont, which seems a bit odd; if any of you have insider tips on visiting the canadians (or access to a giant slingshot), dear readers, do let me know.

008 [honorary] mischa barton quote of the day:
Karl Lagerfeld's amazing. We have so many of the same thoughts and we teach each other something new all the time.

- Lindsay Lohan (via popbitch)


**('s blogged excerpts of mountain man dance moves)


the dirty dozen, october doldrums edition [part 1]:

001 news of interest in ladymagland (which is quite deserted today, what with the holiday): five models were booted out of fashion week in madrid for being too skinny. as reported in the pittsburgh post-gazette,
Spain's crackdown may have stemmed from women's advocacy groups and medical associations in Spain that protested last year that too many models looked skeletal.

The 68 models who showed up to audition for Madrid Fashion Week this time had been told in advance that they would be examined by several specialists. The inspectors included a doctor with Spain's National Endocrinology Society and an obesity consultant at a hospital.

The five who flunked the physical were taller than 5 feet, 7 inches, weighed less than 121.25 pounds and had a body mass index under 18 - below the BMI minimums set by the endocrinology society and the World Health Organization.
this i find somewhat insulting. it's horrible that the fashion industry causes some women (and, gulp, children) to hate themselves, but shielding the fashion week crowd from the psychic shock of malnourished models smacks of paternalism to me. i do feel that girls' magazines should self-censor, and i'm glad that my ladymag eschews ze skeletons (i find them sci-fi and boring - fine for art photography, not particularly useful when i'm trying to figure out what to wear this fall), but the idea that adult women need protection from designer mind games is just sad. thanks, spain, but no thanks.

002 neil gaiman tribute album! predictably, tori amos and the rasputina gals contributed tracks; less predictably, stephin merritt did as well (future bible heroes' "mr. punch"). part of me wants to make it this year's frivolous halloween purchase, part of me wants to lay low and snatch it from an unsuspecting teen goth in the west village (because mugging one of them would be fun); the largest part of me doesn't recognize any of the other bands, and is feeling dark enough already, what with turning twenty-eight next week, thanks.

003 via caterina.net, a decent premise for a new flickr group:
Ernest Hemingway was once prodded to compose a complete story in six words. His answer, personally felt to be his best prose ever, was For sale: baby shoes, never used. Some people say it was to settle a bar bet. Others say it was a personal challenge directed at other famous authors.

I'd like you to post a photo with a Six Word Story in the title section of a Flickr photo. Be as inventive as possible. Have those few words tell the whole tale, and let the picture be its visual interpretation.
meh to the photo element (i'll leave the fancy snapping to the pros), but the story idea i like: caterina's commenters have done some fine work with it.

004 gary shteyngart (absurdistan, the russian debutante's handbook) on food: like gary shteyngart in general, random and satisfying. highlights:
I was so happy [about the possible trans-fats ban]; I mean, sad too, because I'll never taste them again. But I don't have to constantly think, What am I eating here?


I'd love to wake up and eat a stick of butter and take a shot of vodka.


I don't give a damn [about the spinach warning]. I just know that's not how I'm going to die — it's too sad. Killed by something I don't even enjoy eating — that would be definitive proof of lack of God.


Tired all day, ended up just slurping some black-bean soup at home and eating a crapload of very tasty apples. My girlfriend is from California where they eat that type of thing. My stomach cried me to sleep.