Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Door-to-Door Seltzer Service

This is such a great story, currently online at New York magazine, about Mr. Backerman, a lone seltzer deliveryman in New York City.  I don't like sugary soda but I like carbonated drinks so seltzer is perfect for me.  I buy one-liter bottles at the grocery store in different flavors (cranberry-lime is my favorite!) and drink each one in less than an hour. 

I'm glad that seltzer is the focus here but I really love that the blurb is a question-and-answer with a third-generation seltzer delivery man.  When I was young, the family that used to watch me while my parents worked always had seltzer delivered in heavy green glass bottles.  They would leave them by the back door in wooden crates and a man would come right into their hall and replace the bottles with full ones.  There aren't many services like that any longer, and people are less willing to trust strangers.  And as Mr. Backerman states in this article, his customers are dying off.  Maybe home delivery of items, like milk and seltzer, will come back in style (a la farmer's markets) and the next generation will be able to experience this increasingly uncommon treat of supporting the 'little guys' as well as receiving fresh products right at home.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Flying by...

The last few weeks have been a complete blur for me...

I've been seeing old friends, new friends and family.  I spent a week watching my parents' house while they were away and mothering their plants (I did a pretty good job too!).  I've planned two vacations (Niagara next week, Maine in August) and am generating ideas for my brother's wedding.  And on top of that, it was my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary (!), I'm still volunteering at a literacy center, I'm taking an online writing class and Anthony's mom's birthday is in a week.  Whew. 

So I haven't had time to blog much, although every time I read something neat online, I think about how I should write about it for my own blog.  I need to start reading more and writing more in general, but with this heat, it's all I can do after work to make dinner and not fall asleep watching television.  This weather reminds me why I love the winter. 

Anyway, I'll be checking in more often.  For now, four things that I'm loving:

  • I just bought an ice cube tray that makes ice in the shape of gum drops.  They are small enough to pop in my water bottle and just the right size to put right in your mouth for a chilly treat. 
  •  Anthony brought home a bag of Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies with Strawberry filling.  I thought I only liked these cookies with mint but the fruit flavor works!
  • My online fiction writing class is through Bowling Green State University's MFA Program in Ohio and I was just sent a copy of the Mid-American Review as part of my tuition.  Really great so far--copies can be ordered here!
  •  I haven't gotten a haircut in a year and my long, curly hair is hanging down past my mid-back, but tonight's the night!  I can't believe that I'm this excited about a haircut...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Flea Food

So excited about this Brooklyn Flea companion called the "Tasting Table."  It's essentially a crib sheet to all the best food at the Saturday Fort Greene Flea.  We are headed there in early September and I can't wait for an all-Brooklyn weekend!

Some of my favorites from the list:

(Picture of earl grey sandwich cookies from Whimsy & Spice's website)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sloane Crosley's Cake

I've seen I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley in bookstores for a couple of years.  It's always on one of those tables near the shop's entrance, with a sign stating "Favorites" or "Now in Paperback."  I didn't know what it was about but I knew it wasn't something I wanted to read.  Maybe it was the cover, which is just the title of the book with the image of a flowery, textured bedspread behind it.  Or maybe it's the title itself--without reading the summary, I thought it was a chick lit novel with a Cathy comic-esque main character who only wants to eat dessert and complains about her weight.  I have never been so happy to be wrong. 

This essay collection is hysterical.  It only took me a few days to read and I enjoyed every minute.  Crosley's style is so clear and matter-of-fact that it's almost like she was sitting right next to me telling about the day she moved into her new apartment or about the unbelievable number of times she has lost her wallet and had it returned to her.  The stories are true and are really only funny because of the way Crosley tells them.  She's very entertaining and the best part is that she is honest, even if it is unflattering to her.

Another reason I think that I loved this collection so much is because Crosley's life is quite similar to my own.  We are roughly the same age, both grew up in the tri-state area (her in Westchester, New York, me in Southern Connecticut) and she has some of the same interests as I do, mainly writing, baking and working in publishing (which is something she already does and at which she is quite successful, and something that I aspire to do).  Everything she writes about is interesting to me for some reason or another. I too have been in the wedding party for a friend with whom I wasn't extremely close; I spent hours of valuable time playing Oregon Trail when I was in elementary school.  And even though I've never had a friend myseteriously defecate on my bathroom floor, she writes about this incident in such an incredulous tone that it's hard not to laugh aloud (which I definitely did several times).

Sloane Crosley's new book, How Did You Get This Number, just came out and I'm planning to pick a copy soon and add it to my summer reading list.  Hopefully, it's as funny as the first.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me


Yesterday was my birthday and now it's over.  It was probably the worst birthday I've ever had, other than the year I turned 16 and we all went on vacation to Cancun on the week that coincidentally coincided with my birthday. I had a stomach bug the whole time and my family arranged for a cream pie to be shoved in my face at Senor Frog's while hundreds of drunk strangers looked on and laughed.  This year, all I really wanted was a cake and some of my close friends and family to say happy birthday and I barely got that.  It's days like this that make me happy that birthdays are only once a year. 

I will take full responsibility.  It's probably my fault that I never told most of the people in my life that I'm a person too.  Even though I enjoy buying gifts for their birthdays, anniversaries, housewarmings, etc., etc., calling them to check in with them during important times in their lives, and listening to them talk for hours without ever being asked about myself, it's nice to feel like someone cares about me as well.  While I spend lots of time buying thoughtful gifts (probably too much time actually), I normally receive presents that could be for anyone, like someone went to the store 10 minutes before I arrived and bought whatever their hand landed on.  How can I not feel just a little sad when I receive a package of socks when I wear flip-flops well into November and everyone knows this?

Tonight, I'm celebrating in my own way.  After work, I am planning to visit Barnes and Noble, use a gift certificate that I have been saving since Christmas and buy several GRE books.  I hope to then go to a cafe, get some coffee and flip through the books.  And if I have time and am feeling ambitious, I will go home and try to make this tart that I have been eying for two weeks.  Happy birthday to me.

(Photo courtesy of aimeeclaire on weheartit.com)