Wishing you all a happy, healthy, prosperous 2008

My Top Ten Pix

In no particular order these pix highlight some of the best moments (possibly not the best pix) of 2007 .. and as it turns out there are 12 of these, I guess it works out to one a month .. okay then here we go...

Cool Dude

Our son-in-law the South Carolinan transplanted to Texas who loves NYC models his very cool Christmas present.

I 'made' it at neighborhoodies.com.

That's the official bird of New York on the back.

and to give credit where credit is due photos courtesy of Lisa

Cashew and Snowballs and Winking Bread.. oh my!

I sent off that note .. sort of a letter to Santa .. and look what I got!!!

Cashew, snowballs, rum balls, almond joy, cappicino w/jaques torres chocolate topped cookies, & hazelnut brownie bars arrived in these fun tins and cartons along with not one but four dreidels (I have never had a dreidel before so to have four is like a mitzvah!)

Look at these cookies ....

And while I usually scoff at images seen in food objects - remember that sandwich that sold on eBay or that potato people insisted looked like Nixon? -BUT dude this banana nut chocolate bread is winking ..


Well Toshiba is happy to be back in Times Square and to be part of the New Year's Eve celebration.

As you can see they've started the count down ..

I would have captured the rest of the count down if I were working today. I am not. I am home sipping coffee, listening to GMA's weather report.

Just me and Mr. Wright

This morning I had the bus to myself. Just me and Mr. Wright. That's the bus driver's name. I gave him a Christmas card last week. One morning a few months back as I was trekking to Broadway I saw the bus go by as I crossed West End; its another block up to 79th then a loooooooong block from West End to Broadway. I knew I missed the bus yet when I turned the corner onto Broadway there it was waiting. So you can see why I wanted to thank him.

I sat reading P.J. Parrish's Dark of the Moon, its really getting good after a slow start setting up the main character, til we got to 46 St. then I got up to get ready to get off and chatted with Mr. Wright as we made the turn onto 42nd St.

The building is so quiet. Normally I get here around 7:20, today it was 7:10ish. I picked up the newspapers and headed up to the even quieter 22nd floor where Hilda, the cleaning supervisor, was in the elevator lobby having finished checking to make sure that the night crew had done their job.

Now its just me, my clacky clack keyboard and a large iced coffee reading emails, replying, checking in with the Gaggle (a message board I 'meet' friends on every day).

Just yesterday I was there chatting with some gal pals who are, like me, bitchy. We were one upping each other about bad gifts we've received. That's how it started out but me being me, I segued off into how good a gift-giver I am prompted by an email from BBF who is in Paris for Christmas, poor thing, saying:
By the way the Kazuko heart has gotten a lot of attention here. I really love it!

I went to neighborhoodies.com and built my son-in-law a black New York City hoodie resplendent with a grey pigeon on the back. The daughter got a tres cool cherry red clutch ... Husband got a new Apple keyboard (the old one was a bio-hazard of crumbs and cat hair) and a crossword puzzle calendar ... a gal pal down south got a silky Indian shawl ... and I made several pals calendars featuring photos of places we've been together this past year.

Getting the right thing for the right person is important. I think this why so often people are disappointed in what they receive in return.

I got all that lovely loot but I also gave as good as I got ... so I was again a winner in the gives good gift war ... let me tell you being this good consistently is exhausting.

Happy Kwanza

I am not even going to pretend I know anything about this festive holiday, so I didnt a little Googling and found this Official Kwanza website.

Oh Boxing Day, Oh Boxing Day..la la la

Okay, so there's no song for Boxing Day. And no, its not about fisticuffs. Its a quaint British tradition called taking back the swag you don't love ... want ... need ... doesn't fit ... hate the color ... had 3 already. What. Ever.

Not me. I am really delighted with all that I received except for the calories that seem to have been hidden inside all those fabulous cookies, cakes and chocolates.

I got some whimsical gifts, this cat is an ornament Mags bought at the Chicago Art Museum

this votive holder my sister bought is so boudoir-y, don't ya think?

Look at this amazingly clever Menu Organizer from our amazingly clever daughter Lisa. If you live in NYC you order in; if you order in you've got a plethora of menus sitting around clogging up a drawer (like who has a spare drawer in their kitchen in New York City? Seriously, kitchen drawers are as rare as hen's teeth)fear not, this will eliminate that clog.

Two additions to the coffee table pile (also fun reading)from Kelly

Even tho husband and I agreed not to buy one another anything, he got me these (well all except for Love in the time of Cholera, which Donna got me)books, LOST Season 3 DVDs and The Eagles CD!

Fab jewels from two fab sisters

AND this truly angelic angel from Lynn (look, I dusted around her!)

I'm Bored

I went out to get some Vanilla Silk, my Pumpkin Spice Silk, barely 2 weeks old, solidified. I don't know why or how but I tossed it.

I have not stopped eating since cookies Onnie made arrived; those are long gone as are cookies Kelly sent as well as other food gifts.  Was I supposed to wait till Christmas Eve/Day? I'm Jewish. We're talking food here.

And just when I had intentions to seriously curtail my intake, a banana bread w/chocolate chips arrived from Shevawn. I HAD to have a slice, had to, it was so good.  Too good.

This was all on top of the cereal this morning, many cups of coffee, an H&H plain untoasted with a smear and lox for lunch. I tossed the olive, too salty wasted calories. (Excuse me while I LAUGH).

Phone rings on Friday night husband answers and I can tell from his face he cannot understand what is being said to him. He hands me the phone. I say hello? And this man says, I think he said, I'm outside in a car. I am delivering from Zabar's. I say thank you, hang up and go open the door. Yes, he's delivering these two HUGE boxes.

Inside one was a gigantic HAM. Enough for 20 people to have nice thick sandwiches or a dozen adults to eat with salad and roasted potatoes. Not this adult. She doesn't eat meat of any kind. The second huge box contains crudites: in addition to the ubiquitous celery, there are enormous cherry tomatoes, oh so skinny haricots verts, asparagus spears, baby carrots, red and orange Holland peppers plus an amazing dip, I have no idea what was in it just that I am positive it was fattening, therefore tasted amazing.

I as always digressed. This food gift was unexpected. A poker pal of husband and his lady sent it with a note that said: we thought we'd try something different this year

What makes all this 'all that' is because I didn't expect them to gift us, a long story I would share but really it bores me so I am sparing you.

See where you end up when you're home and bored?

Santas Are Here


I have a fixation with still life's. I create them everywhere. Every table top, shelf, okay I will be completely honest, every flat surface in our apartment has a still life. What you ask is a still life? Its art. Usually subtle and not recognizable as art its often mistaken for tschachkas.

(an aside here: I wasn't sure how to spell tschachkas so I phonetically, I thought, typed it into Google Search and this spelling seems to be the most used .. who knew?!).

I am not sharing photos of those today because they need to be dusted first and I am not in the mood... okay just one. Ignore the dust, we do.

I am also fixated this week with holiday cards - Christmas, Seasons Greetings, New Year - and we've received quite a few, which I have, in an on-going compulsive way, been arranging on the mantle. There's a theme, a design, a jenesaisquoit to them.

Of course I had to take photos. I have taken photos all week but I will only subject you to a few. In my opinion, the better ones, not the cards, photos. And just so you know, getting them to stand just so is no easy task, every time a new card arrives, is added to the existing motif they all fall over so I curse and husband oh Daryl's me; so what I am saying is there better be a lot of oh how wonderful remarks happening.

I have solved the photo card problem; they don't stand up, they are hard to lean and husband's idea of stringing them across the book shelf was rejected. A lovely gift of wine mulling seasonings came in this clever little 'box' which now contains those hard to display cards everyone spends so much time selecting a photo for. Am I clever or what?

Where Do the Years Go?

This little girl

grew into this young woman

and married this handsome young man

34 years ago today .. 34 years ago? . Yes. Amazing. Impressive. Inspiring but not a surprise.


A rant

Palm made the Treo 680 'SmartPhone' I use. A Treo I bought specifically because it syncs with my Apple laptop.

The battery sucks, it drains so fast its scary. I have been through 4 replacement batteries courtesy of AT&T. About 7 months ago Palm and AT&T sent out text, email and voice mail messages - covering every possible way to make sure I knew they'd fixed the battery power issue AND worked out why the Treo crashed/froze with regularity.

All I had to do was download a fix from their website, attach a card reader to my Apple, pop a SmartCard into the card reader and 'fix' the Treo.

Except .. I dont own a card reader.

None came with the Treo.

I've not had reason to want or need such a thing.

I called AT&T to let them know I considered this need to buy a card reader ($25) and a Smart Card (no idea how much they cost but I think it depends on the size) absurd.

"You sold me something that wasnt perfect and now its 'fixed' and I have to pay for the fix?" I dont think so.

After many conversations they agreed to send me a new Treo but the catch was I had to wait til mid-July for it. I was willing to wait.

When it finally arrived I found it was improved, it no longer crashes but the battery still sucks. Oh sure the first week or three the charge lasted 6 days but then it began to need to be charged sooner, even when its on stand-by 90% of the time.

So why am I ranting now? Well .. there's a new upgrade which will:

This software update provides device enhancements including improved Bluetooth® wireless performance for some headsets and car kits, audio quality, and media file functionality in Messaging. In addition, you'll get brand new features such as Push To Talk, for walkie-talkie functionality, and Microsoft's Direct Push Technology to get your latest email, appointments, and contacts sent directly to you, and more.

***Power saving enhancements – Helps conserve battery life with improved power management and updated default system power preferences.

Except, once again, you must use a card reader if you sync with an Apple.

I seriously considered whining at AT&T again but I decided first to vent here and then to set up the sync on my office PC (I knew this piece of crap Dell was good for something) .. why? Why am I the Queen of Whine skipping this opportunity? Because in a few very short months I have a birthday for which I requested an Apple iPhone.

I'm no fool.

Gift Bags

I prefer gift bags to wrapping paper because I am lazy.

After all the hustle and bustle of shopping for the perfect gift, I want to just hand it over, sit back and enjoy the pleasure on the face of the gift getter.

Last nite husband and I exchanged gifts with dear friends who will be leaving this afternoon for Paris, poor things. We had cocktails, noshed a bit, talked a lot.. it was a nice evening.

I sure wish my gift had been in this or that I had bought it to use

Expand your vocabulary/make a difference

My very clever pal Elaine posted this link Free Rice. It is not only a way to make a difference in the lives of needy strangers but you can spiff up your vocabulary skills in the process.. come on click, play and donate.. its FREE!


Hats Hats Hats Hats

I think its a love hate thing. As a kid I thought hats were super. Every hat I saw, I wanted. A few I actually bought but never wore, not because of hat hair, no, because they looked stupid. As my fashion sense grew I realized why they looked stupid. I am tall with broad shoulders and a small head. There I said it. I have a small head. (I never get spam emails asking if I want to enlarge my head .. only my penis, which contrary to some opinions, I do not have.)

I need to buy/wear hats with wide brims. This is not something you see a lot of in cold weather. So I dont often wear a hat no matter how cold it gets or how much husband (who has taken this cause up from my late mother) cajoles.

I did notice yesterday when the temps dipped down into the 20s with the wind roaring more than whistling that many many people were wearing hats.

I took some pix on the bus

and on the way home on the subway

It seems to me from this random survey, that the most popular style is the "watch" cap which can be pulled waaaay down and I noted that more men wear hats than women..