Sunday, September 30, 2007

A series of fortunate events.


We woke up bright and early on Saturday, bounded out of bed, and skipped the few blocks to the U-Haul lot to pick up our reserved truck.

That is, "reserved."

After waiting in line for nearly half an hour, we were confronted by a surly clerk who took weary delight in informing us that our reservation was for Oct. 6.

No way, we insisted. Way, was, essentially, her response.

Despondent, we dragged back toward Chris's apartment where, it appeared, we would be forced to remain that day as Penske and the other U-Haul locations were fully booked.

Then Chris brilliantly thought to call U-Haul national where the helpful operator confirmed that yes, our reservation WAS for Sept. 29, yes, they had just called and told the U-Haul lot they were required to honor our reservation, and yes, we should head back there right now.

Chris strode back (I ran to keep up) and when we got there he blew past the now-30 person line while I hid outside because as badly as I wanted to lend moral support I'm not good at watching arguments except, apparently, when I'm in one, heh.

He came out victorious 15 minutes, one abashed clerk, and one conquered supervisor later, we drove back to his place in a truck from Roswell with an alien on the side, and by 2 that afternoon we were done and sitting in a brunch place a block away from our new digs with our co-movers (my sister and his buddy).

I LOVE OUR NEIGHBORHOOD AND I LOVE OUR APARTMENT. It's a little crooked here and there, and yes, we do hope to replace the kitchen cabinets and, maybe someday, the floors; but it is so cute and cozy and it is OURS. Our bedroom is HUGE and right now it smells of my "well-being" candle as I type this post sitting at the large table that occupies barely one corner. We've got framed black and white photos hanging on the walls...our bed sits against the exposed brick...and there's so much floor space that four people could do yoga. Maybe more. I'm so happy. Yesterday my sister was having so much fun helping me unpack that she came back after her mid-afternoon meeting, and when we three went out to grab a burger I almost started crying, I felt so full of happiness.

I'm the luckiest girl!

Friday, September 28, 2007


Two things: I'm moving tomorrow--HOORAY--and last night I accidentally left my cell phone in the new apartment, where it has probably run out of batteries, so if I'm missing people's calls, DON'T GET MAD AT ME.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Don't even get me started on the "smoking" photo shoot.

Even though I'm supposed to be saving all my money for, oh, paying my credit card bill after I BOUGHT A COUCH on Saturday, on Sunday I stopped in Old Navy and got a pair of high-waisted wide-legged jeans, on sale for $20.

I think they're officially my favorite piece of clothing right now. I might like them better if they were blue denim and not black (the only color left in my size), but on the other hand if I liked them any better I might have to curl up and cuddle with them on the new couch and then Chris would be very sad.

They are perfect for making your waist look smaller and your legs look longer. They might also make your butt look big, but hey, I can't see myself from the back so I have no idea, and ignorance is bliss. And anyway maybe the black helps to minimize that problem.

I wish they were sold in a size Long or Tall or had maybe one extra inch of length because as of now they are perfect for flats but not for heels, which is really how you're SUPPOSED to wear them. But other than that I love them, so much that I've worn them to work twice in one week.

Speaking of Old Navy, who's been watching America's Next Top Model? Heather is officially my favorite, mostly because I think she's the smartest and the most level-headed ("I don't trust the other girls, Mom") but also because my heart MELTED when they showed her at panel trying so hard to stand up straight after the judges reprimanded her. She looks like Snow White come to life, no? I also feel like rooting for Heather in some small way makes up for all those times in college that I thought Chess & Games girls were weird, but probably not, I'm probably still going to feel really, really guilty about that for the rest of my life. Anyway, I was so thrilled when Tyra called Heather first, even though I'm still guessing Sarah the "plus-size" (seriously, it just makes me snort. She's, like, an 8) is going to win.

And THANK THE LORD Mila got kicked off. First of all I couldn't believe she even made the top 13 at all, but I knew she was toast as soon as she gave the first soundbite.

Oh, but anyway, back to Old Navy: I can't believe the girls' lesson in personal style was to run around an OLD NAVY and put together a stylish outfit in ten minutes. I mean, half of them then showed up in khaki shorts and tank tops. Really, ANTM? Old Navy? Really?

Of course, this was before they started selling high-waisted wide-legged jeans.

Friday, September 21, 2007


My ancient phone's camera doesn't work so I couldn't take a picture, although I did try, but last night on the subway I saw a girl--a totally normal, nice-looking non-slutty girl with nice highlights, nice eye-glasses, a nice figure--in the nuttiest outfit.

She had on a navy blue pin-striped suit--but it was a shorts suit. As in, the jacket had cap sleeves (which can be cute) and the pants ... WERE SHORTS. I think they were supposed to be Bermuda shorts--aka, they should have come to her knees--but she was wearing them in a size that, while the next size up probably would have been too big for her, was small enough that the legs ended mid-thigh and when she turned around you could see that the pants were squeezing into her butt crack. (Ew, I hate that. That's why my pants are usually too big in the butt, to avoid that very problem.)

But that's not all!

Under the shorts she was wearing brown lace tights--but the lace was so spacey / far apart (do you know what I mean? It was a wide lace) that it looked like she had brown spiderwebs on her legs.

And on her feet she was wearing cherry red patent leather pointy toe wedge shoes.

Now, I'm all about funky fashion and crazy outfits and dressing to please yourself, but this just made me stare because it wasn't fashion forward--she was embracing six trends at once and doing all of them wrong.

(1) It's fall weather here, folks. The time for shorts is over.
(2) You walk a dangerous line wearing lace with pin-stripes. Also, this season it's all about navy and black--not navy and brown.
(3) Speaking of lace, get a bigger pair of tights so that you see more of the tights than the skin. Not to mention, if you are going to wear tights with shorts at all (a look even Keira Knightley has trouble pulling off) they should be opaque.
(4) Cap sleeve jackets are cute, but you have to balance out their effect by not wearing another childish piece of clothing on the bottom.
(5) And if you are going to wear shorts with your suit, they need to come down to your knee! It's just not professional! Especially over hooker tights and shoes!
(6) Speaking of shoes. Red = cute. Pointy toe = cute. Patent leather = cute, and in for fall. Wedge = this summer's trend shoe. Pointy toe AND patent leather? WEIRD. Pointy toe AND wedge? WEIRD. Wedge AND patent leather? WEIRD. Red on top of all that? WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

Usually when I observe other people's outfits it's in an appreciative way; for instance, this morning I saw a girl wearing a grey and yellow vest over a white and yellow tee and a white skirt, and champagne sandals, and she looked totally casual and effortless and great. But last night when I was sitting on the F train all I could think was, "I can't wait to post about this!"

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fall forward.

I'm tired of this week. I can't wait (that doesn't quite seem to express it. I CAN'T WAIT) to move, but there's another week of sidling around my boyfriend's chilly roommates. (Granted, I'm enormously grateful I was able to live there for a month after my own lease expired, but I DID pay them.) Work's been kicking my ass, and I've had things to do after work every night. And I owe phone calls to half a dozen people, including my grandmother. I guess I sound whiny, but I just feel worn out. (Okay, okay...Erika and Liz S. are saying, "At least you don't have a two-year-old to chase after!")

Luckily, tonight Chris and I are going to measure our new pad, which will give me daydream ammunition, and hopefully this weekend will provide lots of hermit time, muffins from Blue Sky, and one last autumn flop in Prospect Park. Also, we might get to have brunch with Cole and Jeremy.

You know you're a grown-up when you start looking forward to Sunday brunch with the same glee you used to assign to a Friday night on the town.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Alice in the looking glass.

I thought for some reason that the Erin Fetherston collection was next for Target, so when I read that Alice Temperley had hit stores Sunday, I was surprised. The lack of fanfare on the Internet must be due to all the fashion bloggers being in London for the shows. So last night I stopped in at the Atlantic Avenue Target on my way home from work.

Now, something you should know is that there are only two Targets in NYC, and the other one is in the Bronx, so the Brooklyn one is always, always sold out instantly of the designer labels or, really, anything remotely cute. I had to ask my mom to pick up the Proenza bustier dress for me at the Gainesville Target. But last night the pickings were far from slim. A large selection of Temperley items remained (which is why I have to disagree with this claim that fashionistas haven't been so excited for a Target collection since Proenza Schouler).

Sad to report, they weren't very exciting. The navy/black dress is a trendy color combination but cut sloppily short and made of a cheap crepe. The black & white sweater, so striking online, looks in person like a Dress Barn relic (its design doesn't wrap around the back side--my pet peeve). The sheer dotted blouses are horribly unflattering, and I didn't even bother trying on the knee breeches.

However, the military jackets in grey and black (I wish there was one in navy) and the snowy fleece ruffled jacket had beautiful detailing, and I love that the brass buttons said "Alice Temperley--London" and not "Alice Temperley for Target." I thought about buying one or the other, but given the Patrick Robinson-level of items left in the store, I think I'll wait for the clearance rack.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Sigh of relief.

Got two sets of keys, got two copies of the lease. It's all set! I can't post right now; I have to go look at home decorating magazines.

Friday, September 14, 2007

"Yahoo" about expresses it!

The long national nightmare is over--we have signed a lease!

It all happened very quickly. We were scheduled to see two places last night and I was expecting we would probably resign ourselves to taking the second one, even though it was slightly more expensive and located directly below Chris's coworkers. I wasn't even thinking about the earlier appointment, because Chris had set it up and I didn't know anything about it.

It only took me half an hour to get there from work (vs. the 45-55 minutes to Park Slope, the neighborhood Chris lives in now and in which we had been fruitlessly hunting all this time). I got out of the subway and thought to myself, this neighborhood is so cool...too bad I will never get to live here!

The apartment is just off so-called "Restaurant Row" on the border of Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill. There are dozens of bars, restaurants, and cute little shops all along the same street. We're walking distance to Carroll Gardens and Brooklyn Heights--two other awesome neighborhoods. And we're only three stops into Brooklyn on the subway, which will shave a good 15 minutes off my commute!

It's a garden apartment, which is a nice way of saying "basement apartment." However, I'll call the low-ish ceilings "cozy" because the cuteness makes up for a roominess that we wouldn't have been able to afford. There are cabin-style lights installed in the small-ish living room, and the bedroom's gigantic size and exposed brick wall make up for the lack of dining room, in my opinion.

The apartment has been recently redone in a beautiful blend of warm creamy walls and textured rose tile...and the bathroom is GORGEOUS. I made up my mind about the place when I saw the bathroom. We told the landlady that we loved it and she took us upstairs and had us sign the lease! I'm picking up the keys tonight, knock on wood. (You know me--I never rest until every possible barrier has been removed.)

We'll share access to the backyard with the other tenants, and the landlady and I are already planning to plant tomatoes in the spring! Or whenever you are supposed to plant tomatoes!

So anyway, when you all come to see it I hope you won't think it's too small--really, it's perfect for two people and after this horrifying seven-week search, I feel incredibly lucky. Yay :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Blue crush crash.

GASP, Kate Bosworth and Thandie Newton wore the same (Preen) dress one day apart at the Toronto Film Festival! Quelle horreur. Now the entire Internet is gossiping over who looked better in it.

I'm voting for Thandie, which is nothing against Kate--well, actually, it is. I like Kate Bosworth, and I'm vastly relieved that she doesn't look like she's about to die of malnutrition anymore, although she's still EXTREMELY, EXTREMELY THIN, and on a side note can everyone lay off Britney for being "a beached whale" at the VMAs? I'm sure she was awful since everyone says so, and she definitely shouldn't have been wearing underwear on television, but for a mother of two kids under three she is Not Fat.

Anyway, the reason I'm voting for Thandie is because Kate looks just like this one girl who, get this. She emails her friends saying she's moving out of her apartment and her landlords are just sooo wonderful that she wants to find nice replacement tenants for them. The email is forwarded via work colleagues to my friend Lindsay, who forwards it to me. I write to the girl; she's perfectly friendly, if not precisely gregarious. I set up a time to go see the appointment; she cancels at the last minute; I set up another time; we show up at the allotted time; she and her boyfriend are just starting to cook dinner (turkey burgers, in case you were wondering) because she forgot we were coming. After SHE rescheduled!

I bend over backwards offering to come back at another time but she says, no, no, come on in. So we go into the apartment and she's totally uptight in that one way that certain publishing girls are--very smart and fairly pretty but just unpretty enough to be secretly insecure and that insecurity in combination with her intelligence and extremely expensive education means that she has a massive, massive stick up her ass whereby she can't decide if she wants to be friendly to another publishing girl or if she wants to be an ice queen because she's got something to prove.

So we look at the apartment and we LOVE it and we tell her please, please, can we meet the landlords, can we call the landlords, will you let us know because we're not going to take another apartment until we hear about this one, and she says, well, the landlords are in northern Maine for the next ten days but I'll be in touch when they come back.

So we cut down on the search--we go to see places, but we discard a few we might otherwise have been more enthusiastic over because we liked this girl's apartment so much and we know that if we can JUST MEET the landlords that they will love us because Chris's whole family is from northern Maine and if they are too then he's probably RELATED to them.

And I email this girl maybe two more times, tentatively (because I don't want to nag) asking if she could fill us in on the status because "like I said, we're holding out for your apartment," and she politely writes back that she has to talk to the landlords and


Until one day the other week Chris is walking down the street and he sees her and she sees him and she recognizes him and she LOOKS AWAY.

If I ever run into that bitch you will wish you had a front-row ticket. Because if you take on the responsibility of sending that email--of corresponding with people who are friends of friends; of letting them into your house and telling them you'll be in touch--to leave them hanging when they've flat-out said "Our housing decision rests upon you; please tell us if it shouldn't"--that is just RUDE. And I hope that karma comes to bite her and her turkey burger and her slouchy-shouldered almost-Kate Bosworth looks IN THE (FLAT) ASS.

So, who wore it better? Kate or Thandie?

(Photo via Fabsugar.)

I was going to say "Boston," but...

Someday, perhaps, I'll be able to write hilariously of what it's been like to search for an apartment. Chris and I have been actively hunting since late July. We have two incomes, two sets of references, two friendly personalities, and no pets. We are willing to pay an amount of money that to me seems enormous for a one-bedroom and that I thought would get us, if not a doorman or an elevator, at least a CLEAN apartment, perhaps a LARGE apartment; maybe even one with a DISHWASHER or LAUNDRY (but not both together, even I had no hopes for that).

I didn't think we wouldn't be able to find anything AT ALL.

So someday, I may be able to post humorously about defeating 35 other applicants only to wind up as the landlord's second choice ("This was such a hard decision, believe me, but I just felt that the other couple has more in common with the other tenants in the building, but you guys are GREAT, really, you won't have any problem finding something"); and again: "So sorry, we just preferred a single person, but you were our favorite couple"; about arriving two minutes early to an open house and finding sixteen other couples already filling out applications; of trekking an hour on the subway for a second interview so that the yogi landlord could get a sense of our karma (I guess he didn't like what he found); of landladies who let their dog do the interviewing; of apartments with cute little gardens and rotting sideboards; of apartments with gleaming hardwood and no space to turn around; of apartments previously occupied by the most passionate of cat-lovers; someday, maybe, but that day is not today.

It could be worse.

I could live in PHILLY!

Two more viewings tonight, this time in a less douchebag-infested neighborhood. Keep your fingers crossed!

P.S. If I haven't been answering my phone, this is why. I'll be much more cheerful to talk to when the end is in sight.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

"I saw eternity the other night"

Madeleine L'Engle died yesterday. She was 88, and had spent the last three years in a nursing home. You can read the NYTimes obituary here.

I think I've read every book she ever wrote. There are so many that I love...A Wrinkle in Time, of course, although its sequel A Wind in the Door is a bit creepy, so I read the second sequel, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, several times more often.

I also loved her books about the Austin family. I identified with Vicky Austin so strongly...she was the shy, smart, awkward older daughter in that family. I loved A Ring of Endless Light both for its deep themes and for the selection of Henry Vaughan poetry L'Engle scattered throughout. I loved The Young Unicorns for its spooky mystery and for the glimpse of life on the Upper West Side in a time before New York City morphed into the ultra-expensive playground for the rich that it is today.

I loved her books for their portrayals of families that were both highly eccentric and highly loving. I loved the O'Keefes and their worldwide travels. I loved that those children had unusual schooling experiences (like me!) but took it in their stride. These weren't books about "What am I going to wear to the party omg!" These were books about, How do I make the transition into adulthood when I'm not yet sure who I am. I loved that she wrote equally passionately and knowledgeably about arts and science (her characters included concert pianists, ballet dancers, marine biologists, Antarctic explorers, painters, physicists, and writers.)

I loved her adult books too, although less strongly. I don't consider The Small Rain or Camilla with their themes of infidelity and loss to be YA, though their main character are teenagers. Both The Other Side of the Sun and A Severed Wasp contained situations so sad they left me feeling unpleasantly chilled. (But I could still tell you, years later, the names of all the characters within.) Meanwhile, her autobiographical pieces, such as A Circle of Quiet and The Irrational Season, are personal to the point of oversharing, but leave you feeling you've just had a long talk with the wisest, kindest godmother you've ever known.

Madeleine L'Engle was the one author I always wanted to meet, and I'm very sorry that she's gone.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The emperor's new clothes.

It's Fashion Week here in New York--not that I am going to any of the shows, of course, but you can hardly escape catching glimpses here and there, such as the Abaete creation at left.

I think this is the ugliest thing I have ever seen. I think this dress looks like it was designed by Wal-Mart. This dress wouldn't be worth trying on even if it was on the Buy 1 Get 1 Half Off rack at NY&Co. This dress looks like it came from Express circa 1999. This dress would be a pass at the vintage store even if you were GOING for an '80s look. I wouldn't wear this dress if Coco Chanel had stitched it herself.

On a side note, I tried on some of the Abaete for Payless shoes and they were EVEN UGLIER than this dress! No, seriously. Check them out.
(Photo via Fabsugar.)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Fishy business.

The other day I cooked for, like, the third time in my life. And it came out pretty well, so I thought I'd share the delicious and simple recipe, one I found on

Lemon Rosemary Salmon

Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut a lemon into thin slices. If it's not a very big lemon, or you're (like me) not a very good slicer, you might need two lemons (as I found out).
Place one layer of lemon slices in the baking pan.
Place two sprigs of fresh rosemary atop the lemon.
Place two salmon fillets atop the lemon/rosemary.
Sprinkle salt to taste on the salmon.
Place another layer of lemon slices and rosemary on the salted salmon.
Drizzle olive oil over the salmon and, if you like, squeeze the rest of the lemon (if you have any left, which I pretty much didn't) over the whole thing.
Bake for 20 minutes.

On a side note (maybe I should have called this blog "On a side note." On another side note, I'll send a prize to whoever first correctly identifies where the hastily-thought-up title of this blog came from!), I didn't do the recipe-email-forward thing. I'm sorry, guys. If you forward me a forward, I will probably wimp out. BUT I am getting a lot better about checking my voicemail. Baby steps!

Thank you, Kate.

Although Kate Moss was the wench responsible for the advent of skinny jeans...she is making up for it now.

On a side note, I was in Virginia visiting my mom this weekend, and she was making fun of the leggings trend all the stores had been pushing--saying it never got picked up by consumers. I was like, Really? Because in New York leggings are so widespread that they're almost embarrassing to wear now. Did leggings and/or skinny jeans ever catch on where you guys live?
P.S. I still love leggings. Skinny jeans, not so much.
(Photo courtesy of Topshop via stylefile.)