Thursday, January 31, 2013


The Americans premiered on FX last night, and honestly, I really liked it. The Cold War setting is subtle but effective, and kudos to whoever cast Keri Russell in this gritty role, so unlike how viewers are used to seeing her.  And in general, I hate being scared but during the last five minutes of the show, I was petrified, in the best way possible. This seems like a show that will either quickly develop a cult following or be cancelled after three episodes.  Let's see what happens.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Cardi Pony Party

 Lately, I've been trying to figure out what I want out of life. What do I want to every day? What do I like and what makes me happy? After reading this, I've decided that I want to stay home and knit cardigan sweaters for ponies all day.  How could I ever be crabby or cranky while making cardis for little horses? Now that's a dream job.

Marketing idea: to boost tourism, Scotland should offer tours that allow people to actually put these button-up sweaters on the ponies. Just that alone would definitely be worth a visit overseas. xo

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Hard to ignore: that feeling that has been following me all day since I gave a man outside the Dunkin' Donuts a dollar.  While talking to him, he told me that he'd prefer that people give him food instead of money because he's honestly just really hungry and doesn't know when he's going to eat next.  I didn't have any other cash to give him and at the end of our conversation, I told him to stay warm, hoping that he could put that money toward a sandwich or towards the fee for a night at the homeless shelter.  And then all afternoon, I thought about how stupid I was because it didn't occur to me until later that I should have taken him right into the store and bought him food.  Regret.

While everyone is complaining about how cold it is, most of us are lucky enough to go home to a warm home, or at least a cold apartment with lots of blankets and some soup.  This week, I've seen so many homeless people bundled up in bus stop kiosks or standing in store doorways with all of their belongings just to get a gust of hot air from inside.  Yes, it's cold outside and they know how cold winter really is. I wish I had a way to make sure everyone was warm and fed.

Maybe I'm being too sensitive; I'd like to think of it as being empathetic. I'm sure most would say I'm too idealistic. It's just that I can't stop thinking that maybe I could have helped in some little way.  No one deserves to freeze outside or go hungry.  I try never to forget how fortunate Anthony and I are compared to others.  Just in New Haven and Fairfield counties alone, the difference between economic groups is unbelievable.  The gap is especially clear to me after listening to an hour of co-workers discussing $200 shirts and ski weekends. 

So, I apologize if this post is a bit preachy.  It probably stems from the guilt.  All I know is that next time, I'll use my brain in the moment and do whatever I can do to help even the smallest bit.

Image via

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Another Four Years

My office was closed yesterday and that meant that I was able to sit in front of the television and watch the presidential inauguration for most of the day.  I clearly remember how hopeful I was when I watched Obama being sworn in four years ago; I teared up during those ceremonies, just like I did when he spoke in Chicago the night he won the election in November 2008.  I teared up a little bit yesterday too; I'm still optimistic about our country and President Obama's speech made me feel like he also is optimistic.  I can only hope that the rest of our elected officials feel the same way. 
My favorite part of the festivities is when the cameras pan the crowd. There were almost one million people standing in the freezing cold just to show their support, just to be part of this special event. Most could only hear the ceremony through the speakers set up along the National Mall, but they were there listening and they were proud to be there.  It's exciting to be part of history.

The mere fact that we live in a place with such a rich history, a nation where we can elect our representatives and have freedom of speech, reminds me every day that we're all so lucky.  xo

Thursday, January 17, 2013

View from the Almost-Top

The view from the window by my desk on the sixth floor of a small skyscraper-type building yesterday:

We haven't had much snow this winter (at least not yet) but I love looking out and seeing just the tops of buildings covered in white, like a scene from a holiday card. xo

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


I cannot wait to stop by this newish bakery/cafe in Stamford.  Lorcas sells homemade pastries, specialty coffee and features made-to-order churros.


Every time I think of a churro, I think of the ones that you can buy by the case in the frozen section of Costco.  During 'International Day' when I was a freshman in high school, someone brought in this very authentic version of the treat and I have been in love ever since.  Fact: Homemade ones are so much better. A few years ago, Anthony and I had fresh churros at Barcelona for dessert, served with warm chocolate sauce, and I thought about them for months afterward.

So, I think we should all visit Lorcas.  I love quirky stores and cafes that focus on one great thing, and since I'm not much for intense sugary desserts, churros are just sweet enough for me with their basic cinnamon and sugar covering.  Nom.

Via CTBites

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Movie Debriefs

Do you ever read a book or watch an episode of your favorite show and then immediately get an intense urge to debrief with someone? This happened to me several times in the last week: first with Midnight in Paris, then 2 Days in New York and Take This Waltz, and finally, the first half of Season One of Girls. So much to talk about, but no one to discuss with.

Girls was our Friday night entertainment; there's a ton of dirty-couch sex and whiny-girl indecision, but it was funny and thoughtful in a cable television kind of way.  Luckily, Anthony watched five episodes with me and actually liked them too. I love how some scenes were so awkward that I felt like I had to cover my eyes to shield myself from the humiliation on screen.  Is this a common reaction? Discuss. 

Also, I'd highly recommend Take this Waltz.  Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen are so wonderful and the movie is quiet, but poignant. I found myself cringing and laughing, sometimes at the same time. I kept thinking about it and wound up googling for a while, coming across several reviews and this awesome NPR interview with Sarah Polley, the writer and director of the movie, which is more than worth the listen.

What was the last movie you saw that you loved? xo

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Eating and Walking

At the end of the summer, when autumn seemed everlasting as it lay ahead of us, I bought two tickets for a Lower East Side Food Tour for me and Anthony. After my visit to the Tenement Museum in July, I kind of fell in love with the area, plus I really like nom noms so I figured this would be the perfect weekend activity.

Fast forward to mid-December: our food tour deal expires in two weeks. The only free day we have is Sunday, December 30th, right smack in the middle of holiday festivity overload. And yes, there is a tour scheduled for that day. Amazing.

It snowed in Connecticut on Saturday night but Manhattan had limited accumulation.  (Sidenote: I love New York on Sunday mornings.  There are so few people, the streets are so quiet.  It's like everyone is sleeping just so that they can wake up late and and head out for a boozy brunch at 2pm. Perfect.) We were early so we headed to St. Patrick's to light candles then took the subway down.  I didn't count on the confused tourists at the ticket machines so we missed our train then had to wait forever for another. Translation: we arrived at Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery late and missed the first tasting.  Sad.

But it was easy to catch up and there were plenty more stops to enjoy, including a special treat of bialys and cream cheese at Kossar's Bialys, a place that the tour doesn't normally visit.  Our favorites included Katz's Deli (the pastrami is so good), The Pickle Guys (Anthony loves pickles and bought some pickled mango) and North Dumpling (we actually went back after the tour for a fast lunch of steamed pork dumplings). 

Thanks to our great tour guide who kept the group moving despite the freezing wind (most of the tastings are outside), Anthony and I had a great time. There are a few places we'd like to check out again, and it was really fun to learn more about the history of this great city. I could already go for another doughnut from Doughnut Plant.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcoming the New Year

I'm happy that today is the first day of 2013. Last year was not great, no matter how positive I tried to be. Thirteen has been lucky for me in the past so I'm going to take advantage of the next twelve months.

In one way, so much happened in 2012.  In another way, not very much happened. I made few advances in my own life, distracted by bad television, mindless internet and selfish people, for which I take full responsibility.  Sometimes, it's impossible not to float around in life.  I tend to worry too much about other people and to focus on things that cannot be changed.

I want to focus my energy on the good things. Thick books and the kindness of friends and long walks and mugs of cocoa. Our wedding in April. Anthony's smile. My grandfather's laugh and my grandmother's hands.  The beach breeze. New York City at night. Warm brownies. Celery hearts. Spur-of-the-moment road trips.  See, there's so much to love when you just remember to look.

I'll admit that I'm partial to year-end roundups as well as Google videos (I love the commercial with the father and daughter; it never fails to make me tear up), but this is a wonderful two-minute compilation of 2012. So many memorable things impacting the world in such a short amount of time.

Best wishes for a wonderful 2013--I think it's going to be a good year. xo