Feb 25, 2011


     In the last four days I have started writing a post three times.  The other day I was so tired I just napped.  I started working full time at the store and this week I am opening for five days straight.  Remember though that now I have to use public transportation everyday so in order to be at work at 8 AM I have to take one of two buses, the 7:09 AM or the 7:25 AM bus.  In order to take the bus I have to be awake, dressed and at the bus stop minutes before it is supposed to arrive.  Thus my waking at 6:30 AM now.  Most people will rise up and complain about how they have been doing this sort of routine (or earlier) for much longer.  I understand and sympathize.  I, on the other hand, had work before this week at 2:30 PM at the earliest, which was Sunday.  My classes for the last few years never started before 11:30 and both Tad and I can be a bit of a night owl. 

     This is just an excuse though.  The real reason I haven't written in a few days is I feel there is nothing to write about.  Tad and I have been staying in as I adjust to my ever-changing schedule (which is going to give me lots of moolah hopefully) and all I've done is catch up on world news everyday and watch a movie from the library here and there. 

     Today we went to Toastmasters.  This is a national club that helps people overcome their problems with public speaking.  It uses informal environment, a mixture of impromptu/practiced speeches and guidance from more experienced members.  I will probably be joining it as a member although I will have to give ten speeches to complete the competency communication series.  Everyone was very nice to talk to, though, and I do need other things to do up here.  I can't always sit around and hang out with Tad.

     Last I am giving a shout out to my sister, Gara, who is moving from Rochester, NY to Oakridge, TN this weekend with my parents.  I hope everything goes better than my housing move did.  You know, having actual housing and all.  Jaa for now.

Feb 20, 2011

A Slow Day

     Since I have nothing else to do today I am watching Julie and Julia.  Ok, who cares if it is about blogging and cooking and maybe even what I originally wanted to do with this blog.  What?  No, not the cooking and Julia Child's BFF on the interwebs and all.  Just something cool like that.  Lobster killer.  Only, if you've seen the movie or read the book (I have yet to) they were in Queens and I in Brooklyn.  Also, they have actually jobs.  Oh, and I'm not obsessed with my blog, I just do it in my free time.

     I finished the book Three Men in a Boat and it was just as good the last page as the first.  I once again suggest you read it.  Hum de dum.  My mind is all over the place today.  Worst part is, of course, that I really have nothing better to do but looking for a nicer job or apartment.  I have done some of these very, very essential tasks this morning already.  Well, looking into it.  Started, really.

     What I should do today is clean the apartment now that my sister-in-law and her friend have left for school.  I also picked up the tiniest apples in existence.  They were called Lady Apples.
The large apple is a normal Gala apple and the small ones are obviously the adorable Lady Apples.  I need some amazing cheese to go with amazing tiny apples.

     I should review this brunch place everyone went to yesterday here in Brooklyn.  The Farm On Adderley is a bus and about five blocks walking from us here and we went out for a last bang before Anna and her friend went back for school.  Brunch was amazing and everyone had different dish.  I had the Farmer's Breakfast which was scrambled eggs on top of steamed swiss chard on top of home fries.  Anna had poached eggs over fried trout with salad greens and hollandaise sauce.  Each meal was delicious and a good mixture of breakfast foods.  It was so packed with people that it must be worthwhile, although we got there just before the real rush behind us.  I will be going there again when I have another occasion, perhaps for dinner.  Want a rating? I would say A.  9? Three thumbs up?  Hmm, I will have to think of a rating system if I keep going out to eat.

501 books count: 56

Feb 18, 2011

Three Men in a Boat

     These men are not the butcher, baker and candlestick-maker.  Three Men in a Boat (to Say Nothing of the Dog) is a short novel from 1889 written by Jerome K. Jerome about the adventures of three young Victorians boating down the Thames.  It is filled with hilarious anecdotes, picturesque scenes from the British countryside and bumbling about.  It actually has a scene that no matter the context is one of the most hilarious things I can imagine: trying to open a tin can without a can opener.  I have seen this in real life so I know how truly amazing this gets.  First you try a small knife if available.  It breaks.  Then a stone to smash it about and crack it open.  This dents the can until it is a misshapen horror but does not break it open.  So then you get frustrated and irrational.  A log?  Throwing it against the side of your car?  Driving over it in your car? All these and more can occur and every time it will end poorly.  Log smashes someone in the head.  Scratch and dent your car.  Blow a tire.  And still the can does not open.

     I haven't finished the novel yet despite only being 135 pages it is rather wordy and I am really only reading it on the trip in and out of the city.  When I finish it I will glorify it some more.  If you like silly British incompetence I suggest reading this.  Either way, I suggest reading this book.  It really will make you snicker.

     What have I seen in NYC recently?  It is fashion week you know.  I saw this dress in a window on Grand St. down near Chinatown.  I swear it came directly out of my childhood.

     Hmm.. what else has happened?  I met up with one of our groomsmen (and Tad's dear college friend) Mike yesterday for Japanese.  It was a nice place near his work up in Midtown called Ise that had fairly cheap items for a Japanese restaurant.  They did a hot pot filled with veggies and tofu but a real Japanese place is not somewhere to go for a vegetarian.  I thought there was daikon radish in the dish and it was fishcake.  Ick.  My stomach was pretty upset last night even if I didn't swallow any of it.  Psychosomatic or not I was still feeling pretty queasy.

     OH!  People have been asking to see what our current living space is like.  I took a couple of pictures.  Remember we're only living here until we find some real housing.

     That's right, say hi Tad!  Not much but it's fine for a month or two, very spacious of just two people.

Feb 15, 2011

Oscar Wilde wrote a children's book

     So you may be thinking to yourself I wonder what Kai did for Valentine's Day.  You know, being in the Big Apple and all... but the truth is much less glamorous than you are imagining.  We made dinner from left overs although we did indulge a bit and eat some delightful nibbles (chocolate cigars) as already mentioned this weekend.  This is going to be the slow week while we finally get everything together.  Tad's schooling is picking up and we have a few events planned in the next few days but we'll see.

     The bathroom in the apartment we're staying in is an absolute horror.  There's mold growing all through the grout around the tub and it looked like no one had scrubbed it in months.  I've taken the task though of scrubbing in really well once a day now.  I've done it three days running now and it looks loads better.  I used scrubbing bubbles, white vinegar and some Formula 401 with bleach to get rid of the nasty ring inside the tub, bleach out the grout a bit and clean the tiles up.  It isn't a bad place to rent for a month or so but there is no way I could keep showering in that cesspool. 

     I also washed the delicates by hand and they are currently hanging (or laying flat in the sweater's case) on the empty bunk bed in the room.  It works fairly well as a drying rack although I think it is mostly the dry air leeching the water out.  I have done a whole load of laundry now, both at home and at the laundromat.  It was a nice place with an old Jewish lady complaining.  So in reality, just like Florida. :p

     I did realize it had been a good while since I had added my count to the 501 books list so I have amended this by reading The Happy Prince and Other Tales by Oscar Wilde.  This is a series of moral stories by the famous writer/playwright for children.  Good read and a bit different than what I was expecting.  They have a sort of double quality to them I really enjoyed.  Not too much to say really but I would recommend you to read them just to say you have.

     501 books count: 55

Feb 14, 2011

Lolcats V-Day

Happy Valentine's Day

     Here is a good article on modern perceptions of love.  Read it when you have the time.

Feb 13, 2011

Essay Topic: What I Did This Weekend

     I forgot to talk about Friday in my last post.  Tad had an early meeting at school so I went and wandered around Union Square Park area.  I went to Pan-ya, a small Japanese bakery over on 3rd Ave and 9th St. that makes real Japanese convenience foods, like melon-pan and individually wrapped onigiri.  Melon-pan is just bread with cookie dough cooked on top and thatched to look like the outside of a melon like a honeydew.  I love this bread and you can finish it usually in just over five big bites but it is a costly habit to pick up.  I've had it maybe five? times in my life and have determined that I can't eat it as often as I would like (everyday).

     After buying a melon-pan for snackies I wandered up to the farmer's market at the actual Union Square Park.  After gaping at the expensive local honeys, ostrich meat and mushrooms I ended up with some obscure apple breed that claimed to be both sweet and tangy.  I regret so much that I can't remember what it was, maybe starting with an a?  Or maybe not.  Apples in hand/bag, I found myself around 6th Ave and 20th St. where an old church was recommissioned as a set of boutique shops just recently opened.  I remember when I visited Tad in Sept 2009 I had seen it under construction.
     That's right, this is actually a set of shops, ranging from a deli in the back right to a salon on the second floor and a restaurant in the top.  Awesome.

     Urg, this post is getting long even without mentioning going to MoMA today or finishing with Ethiopian food (very vegetarian friendly) and a kosher bakery on 115 2nd Ave, Moishe's Bake Shop.  For reference, GO TO MOISHE'S!  The gentleman running the shop was wonderful and charming and the chocolate cigar was amazing.  Is amazing.  Whatever, all I can tell you is this place makes great baked treats.  I don't even know what it is and I want another one.  As does Anna, my sister-in-law and her friend.  In fact, they are headed back tomorrow to get another one.  Yes, it was that good.

Feb 12, 2011

It Snowed Today

     This is the first time that I can remember where snow has fallen.  Except vague impressions of the brownouts/blackouts of 1989, when in snowed flurries in St. Petersburg, FL.  Even though the snow didn't fall hard nor did it fall in abundance I enjoyed it immensely.  We went over to near Battery Park to the American Indian museum (admission: free) and saw the exhibits there about the Horse Nations and a general showing of paraphernalia of various South, Central and North American Indian tribes.  It was an interesting viewing and had some beautiful artifacts.  Also enjoyed just hanging around the old Customs House but I'll see if I can go back and get pictures of the four 'Continent' statues and their racist stereotyping.  Just to gape at them I suppose.

     After finding out that the train we needed to get to the Cloisters is currently not running for about three to five stops we attempted to try another train, which also doesn't run uptown this weekend.  Great.  We ended up going to the New Amsterdam Market on Front St which has small vendors and will be open til Valentine's Day and then weekly beginning May.  We tried some naturally and home brewed cream soda, some strawberry sorbet and expensive cashews.  I thought it was going to be a lot bigger than the small room it was in but it has some really nice shops to meander through.  Despite the delightful food we didn't buy anything big and just nibbled a bit.  Actually, our cost for all of today is nine dollars.  We bought week unlimited passes to the subway, bought a melon-pan from a store in the Financial District, spent five dollars at the Market and then after wasting all this time headed to midtown to check out the Guggenheim museum for two dollars admission.  Saturday from 5:45 til 7:45 PM they have "pay-what-you-wish" admission price which to me meant a quarter but Tad guilted me into a dollar each.  We took most of the free audio tour and saw Picassos and this and that and I cannot see the cyclist in this.  Tad sees a 5 at the top from his back but I thought it was his face until he pointed out that it's a sideways five.  That means too abstract for me. 

     Once again I've let the day slip away from me and cannot review half of what I've seen and done in the city in the last two days.  I will try to write another post catching up in the morning, 

Feb 10, 2011

Local food, local color

     If nothing else I wanted to show this link from the New York Times: Feng Shui Cube

     So I had my first night at work yesterday and it was definitely a bit hectic.  The Target I work for is two stories of merchandise and a floor with parking and such.  I probably put away five carts of go backs, reshops, whatever you want to call them.  The people weren't rude to me at least.  Well, so far.  Everyone wails about the people of New York and how they have themselves on a pedestal and all but most people were very courteous and didn't even mind when I admitted once or twice it was my first night working and I haven't a clue where the shoe section is (it's on the second floor, just so you guys know). 

      I am starting to get why people buy from local food vendors around here.  As great as a Target or Walmart would be you don't need it for bread.  I can get fresh loaves from the Italian bakery right down the street.  Or the fruits and veggies stand where I only need to grab two apples to feel happy.  Also, I can shop deals or by whims much easier.  What I can't do is get a good snack for a trip without going to the nearest grocery store seven or eight blocks away.  How sad.  What is an interesting view, though, is that I am currently living near the Hasidic Jewish area so I see them running up and down, on the bus, wherever with me.  I don't live by the kosher bakeries or anything, they are a few streets away, but I could stop by there some times.  I wonder what sort of other foods they eat that I don't know.

     Ok, I should review the restaurant I went to with Tad and sister-in-law Tuesday.  It's a small shop by St. Marks Place on 1st Ave and 14th St. called Curlie's Lunch.  This place is completely vegetarian and it was great.  I had a cheddar and bacon burger while Tad had the burger blueplate special of a disco burger.  A disco burger is a burger topped with fries, cheese and gravy.  The fries were a bit dry for me but still amazing.  The burgers were delightful and I never has so much fun eating a food that would normally go against my whole diet.  Curlie's burgers are a mix of soy proteins, seeds, beans, veggies, garlic and onion, the whole works all on a ciabatta roll.  I squeezed on ketchup and mustard and ate a full and completely satisfying meal.  They even serve vegan cake which we didn't try but my sister-in-law says blows your mind.  Maybe another time.  How is the prices? An average burger runs about 9 bucks but it comes with a side of fries or a salad.  A full entree is more like 13 or so, it seems the prices on their menu online are cheaper than the ones in the store by about 50 cents or so.  Hmm. 

     Really that's it for now.  I am hoping to just out of here in a little bit and head to the Met to go look at all the pretty things.  Maybe the Museum of Natural History.  We'll see where we end up.

Feb 8, 2011

Chinese New Years

     I mapped my walking trips for the last two days and just from wandering around Manhattan Tad and I walked over 10 miles.  Good for us although tonight it started getting really cold and my fingers did not agree with that.  I swear I tried to write yesterday but my Windows system decided it was no longer able to read my SD card damn you.  After about six different restarts I can now load my pictures to facebook or whatever.

     Chinese New Years Parade.  I didn't actually get to see the parade.  I, silly little me, thought that I could use a NYC events site to find out the time and vague location of the parade.  According to the Chinese society website I was using the parade started at 11:30 AM and went through the main streets of Chinatown.  So my sister-in-law, Tad and I headed down and hit Canal St. at about 11:45 finding a place near the start of the parade route on Mott St.  An hour passes, filled with jostling people and an old Chinese lady pushing her way past me and about four other people.  Maybe she couldn't understand us, maybe she could but she pushed through everyone to get a spot up with the kids right at the front.  About 1PM suddenly everything gets to me.  It could have been the crowd pressing harder and more fiercely, it could have been dehydration and overheating from the sun on me, it could have been I locked my knees and I was close to fainting.  All I know is just after 1 I start feeling nauseated.  My head started swimming and the headache I'd had all morning was overwhelming.  I stagger out of the crowd and take a moment to breathe.  In a crowd of who knows how many that's a little harder to do than you think.  I'm wedged in a store door corner trembling and doubled over trying not to vomit across the sidewalk.  Not fun.

     To make a long story short I got some juice and we wandered around and ended up at the corner of Mott St. and Worth St. right at Confucius Square.  I couldn't see a thing but we boosted my sister-in-law up on a trashcan rim at the streetlight and she took my great pictures.  Here are some now:
      In case you didn't know, it's the year of the Rabbit.  This is the first float and I think they were dual language.
      There you go, there are seven cameras visible in this shot.
      These signs are the different provinces of China.  Kinda cool if you can recognize them.
     Lion dance or something.  I dunno, it doesn't really look like a dragon.  Well, that's a brief summation of the Parade.  All I saw was the top of the dragons here and there.  Also a red head who complained very, very loudly just so the lady in front of her would move.

     Oh, also had amazing dumplings from Happy Dumplings on Mulberry St. across from Columbus Park.  $3 for eight veggie boiled dumplings.  Otherwise, $1.25 for five fried pork and chives.  Both were delightful. The place was overflowing after the parade so you know it has to be good.  Nom nom nom.  That's it for today.  I'll mention a few places I've been tomorrow.

Feb 6, 2011

Sleep is for the weak, aka me

     I have been back for a while today but I have only just now gotten my photos uploaded to the computer and onto facebook.  I will take time tomorrow (I swear!) to talk about the parade and what else I've found in New York.  One thing I will say is that the information about the parade was useless.  The site, which hosted the parade, claimed it was at 11:30 AM.  The parade did not even start until 1 or 1:15 PM.  Until tomorrow.

Feb 5, 2011

In the Winter, In the City

     Flew into NYC today.  There was a toddler behind me on the flight but he was adorable.  He grabbed my shirt while I was reading and then we played Peak-a-boo.  Luckily he fell asleep right before we descended so he didn't ruin his good impression with lots of screaming from aching ears.  I am only wearing three layers outside, I'm rather proud of myself: a long sleeve shirt, a short one atop of that and a trench coat.  My toes were numbing by the time we stopped in at a restaurant for lunner (lunch/dinner) so I think I need a second pair of socks for now.  Me and my wimpy extremities.

     Tomorrow is the Chinatown Chinese New Year parade so Tad and I are going to head over that ways tomorrow morning. I was going to say more but really, I will talk about it tomorrow.

     On a random note the only books I brought with me to NYC are Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson and a book of poems on NYC that my mother gave me.  The Mars trilogy is an award-winning trio of books mapping Mars from its start as a scientific colony to its own political and social force.  I'm about a hundred pages in and I really have enjoyed it.  I admit it isn't on my list of 501 books but sometimes you can't get everything.  This was recommended to me by a guest at Target one day a good year or two ago after we got talking about science fiction and Asimov and who knows what else.

Feb 4, 2011

Migration Patterns of Annoying Birds

     Here I am at my parents enjoying my last day in Florida in the only good weather in the country (71 degrees) and what do I wake up to? Drunk birds.  What? Never heard of a drunken bird?  Every year on their way up to the North the cedar waxwings stop on by and eat the fermented berries from the cherry laurels.  They come in droves and are deafening.  Absolutely deafening.  Well, after eating enough berries they start staggering.  I won't lie, I remember watching my cat as a child just sit on the porch, anticipating them falling onto the ground.  Unfortunately she was in a screened-off porch and when the birds fell they just bounced off and laid dazed and drunk out of their little birdie minds.  It definitely feels like that today. 

     It is also overcast and I get the great joy of flying into the Big Apple during 'intermittent snow.'  I hope that doesn't mean my flight will be intermittently canceled.  I can't wait to see Tad though.  He promised to meet me right off the AirTrain so that will be nice.  Yay for cold weather I guess.  It is supposed to get down to 14 degrees Tuesday night so I won't be missing out on all this freezing weather.  Oh darn.

     Packing some clothes is all I'm really up for today.  I have to return a game which decided to riddle my hard drive with errors.  All I wanted was a cheap, silly ten dollar game.  That will teach me.  Oh well, that's all for today.  I don't know what I'll be doing in NYC quite yet but we'll see.  I'll try and keep this up.

Feb 3, 2011

Egypt is Hot HOT HOT!!

     Yea, so now Egypt is burning and it is crazy over there.  Pro- and Anti-Mubarak protests are getting even more violent and now the army is joining in.  At least the violence has settled down since dawn has broken.  With the Army beginning to side with the protesters and their intervention last night who knows what will happen in the next couple of days (reference).  I wonder though, which side should we back.  I have my own opinions but I ask, should we side the pro-American dictator of 30 years or the democratic but religious-based protesters?  As America we should want democracy everywhere but we also want a stable and nonthreatening Middle East.  Hm.. Who knows?

     Spinning around the world Australia has been hit by a Category 4 hurricane.  They have been very unlucky with the weather but if you have some spare change please donate to a major (and not specific) relief organization to help all these unfortunate people.  I will post a few links at the bottom.

     On a lighter note, here issomething I bet you didn't know about Australia.  An Unknown Australian Danger: The Drop Bear

Doctors Without Borders
Queensland Government Disaster Relief
Red Cross

***One last thing.  I am tagging Stephanie Sanderson from House for Two. just for being so wonderful!***