Take one part this….
Repeat 4 or 5 or 10 times.
08 May 2013 2 Comments
07 May 2013 Leave a Comment
This picture is circa 2000.
I had just gotten a job at a Fortune 500 in NYC. After two years of being at home with my baby, I was back at work as an event planner and loving it. Technically I wasn’t a planner until a year later – in the beginning I was an admin.
An admin to an insane, crazy, brilliant woman who ran our group. The woman who gave me a 45 minute lecture on using colored folders instead of beige folders (the colors distracted her as she walked by my cube). The woman who called me from the Tarmac while boarding a flight to tell me she doesn’t like prop planes and why hadn’t I known that and I better fix it ASAP (I couldn’t because there were only prop planes flying to this part of Colorado. I had offered to book her a car the day before when I warned her about this but she hadn’t been listening, something about researching the perfect toilet – no joke).
But all those moments that would have driven me to quit turned into funny stories we shared. Funny war stories at the lunch table.
We worked really really hard. Almost 24/7. Weekends. Holidays. For no money. It was rough.
But every day, we had lunch together – the whole group. There are a few ladies missing from this pic but this was the core group. We also had a Swiss National and a Brit.
We bitched, we ranted, we raved, but most of all – we laughed.
This restaurant lunch was a rarity. Almost all lunches were either in the cafeteria or at a table on our floor.
No one from other groups ever joined – probably because they weren’t invited. This was anti-networking. This was cocooning.
The majority of the lunch was used to make fun of each other. And there was plenty of material. Marriages, weirdo eating habits, childhood traumas – all ripe for the picking. We left our egos in our cube. Belly laughter ensued.
Then we’d go back to working our asses off.
There were weddings, babies, break-ups, promotions, and more.
The crazy boss lady left. And shockingly, in hindsight, I would miss her. Aside from the batshit crazy episodes, I learned a lot from her. And from all those ladies.
It was and continues to be the best job I ever had.
(not sure why I have glasses on? contact lense malfunction that morning?)
02 May 2013 4 Comments
in Brave New World Tags: Amazing Story, Bermuda, Cruise, Fate, food, humor, India, Indian Restaurant, Kismet, Life, Photograph, Shrimp, Spicy Food, strange, travel, tv, Twilight zone, USA, Weird Story
Insert Twilight Zone Music….
In 1997, my husband and I took a cruise to Bermuda from New York City, where we lived.
Back then, there was none of this relaxed cruising stuff. You were assigned to a table. And that’s where you sat all week.
Every night, we had the same staff serving us. They were amazing.
This is a picture of one of our waiters, a gentleman from Bangladesh who loved me.
As almost all men from the old country do. Just kiddin’
He took such good care of us. Special veggie dishes. Extra spicy, for me.
Loads of extra shrimp in my husband’s scampi. That kind of thing.
We found out that he lived on the boat 10 months of the year.
Went home to his wife and kids for 2 months and was back at it.
At the end of our week we took this photo, said our goodbyes, and left a nice tip.
Cut to 2006
We were now living in Eastern Pennsylvania with our two kids and a cat
Miles and miles from Bermuda. Or Bangladesh.
I’m in Harrisburg, with my whole family.
We were there celebrating my sister’s bday – at the local Indian restaurant.
Guess who our waiter was.
He left the cruise job, brought his family to the US, and moved to my hometown. Happened to get a job at my parent’s favorite place to celebrate all things. Happened to be working the night we were there. And happened to be our waiter. Again.
Insert Twilight Zone music again….
14 Apr 2013 Leave a Comment
I like pretty pictures.
If the pictures happen to be about food or home decor – all the better.
This past Christmas a new pal gave me a really great book called Edible Selby. Although I didn’t know it was great until now. I don’t deserve new friends. Don’t tell my old friends.
This past weekend I was reading the New York Times and found an article by the same author about a taco stand in California. This is why I love the Times. You may read it for the late breaking political and social news. I read it for its taco coverage.
Todd Selby is an artist, an author, a humorist and more. I have been reading his book all weekend.
It’s not a cookbook. It’s a book about cooks and cooking and food.
14 Apr 2013 1 Comment
in Brave New World Tags: Arcade, Beach, Boardwalk, Family, food, funnel cake, Games, gaming, GTL, humor, Jersey Shore, Life, Nature, New Jersey, outdoors, Photography, Restaurants, Shore, Snooki, videogames
We live about 40 minutes from the beach. More specifically, the Jersey Shore. You know, the place that gave birth to GTL, Snooki, and the Situation. But it’s also the place that gave us big old boardwalk slices of pizza, funnel cake, arcade games and oh yeah, the beach.
Because it was sunny. Because it was a perfect 65 degrees. Because I needed to extract myself away from the TV. We headed to the beach.
This was also the place hit hard by Hurricane Sandy – and although they were still rebuilding parts of the boardwalk – doors were open.
Here’s my babies playing an overpriced game that can’t possibly be worth the crappy stuffed toy that they will eventually win. Everything is back to normal.
Our day ended with this.I love the shore.
05 Apr 2013 3 Comments
On Easter Sunday, thanks to our lovely Kosher neighbors, I had Matza, or Matzah, or Matzos for the very first time.
I’m in love
Unleavened, unsalted, unbelievably perfect. I’m sure all my Jewish pals are rolling their eyes but listen, there aren’t a lot of carb items left in the world that I don’t know about. This was a revelation.
With peanut butter. With cheese. With coffee. It’s the perfect vehicle for all kinds of fat.
I am truly thankful. Amen.
30 Mar 2013 Leave a Comment
This is Pulaski’s meat market. Every year I trek there for kielbasa, ham, pierogies, etc. for our mix and match Easter. North American Catholic traditions, check! Eastern European homage to pork, check!
I wait my turn with old school Polish, Ukrainian, Czech couples. One of these things is not like the other. And that thing is me people.
I get my number and start the wait. I’m #93. They are on #18.
No, you can’t wander about the market while your number is called. There’s no side shopping while you wait. This is like the soup nazi for meat. Wait your turn. Know what you want. Do not hesitate.
But I’m not scared. This isn’t my first polka. I may look completely and utterly out of place. But I know exactly what to order.
2 1/2 hours later. Success.
It’s not Easter until my Subaru smells like kielbasa.
22 Mar 2013 1 Comment
Grilled cheese sandwiches have always been my friend.
Not for me
That’s what I had in the Kmart cafe in Albany when I was 10 and my mom told me she was preggers with my sister.
It’s what I had at the Friendly’s across the street from the library in 10th grade with my bestie instead of doing our history paper.
It’s what my boyfriend in college treated me to. I was a cheap date.
It’s what I had when that boy married me and we partied all night and went to a Greek diner at 5am.
It’s what I have now with my punks and their friends on a rockin’ Friday night that ends at 8.
Cheese. Bread. The building blocks to a good life. Fries are good too.
07 Mar 2013 5 Comments
Actually, this is a Whopper no meat.
I couldn’t help myself today. I needed something from a drive-thru window. I didn’t need to supersize it or make it a meal. But I really wanted this sandwich.
Did you know that McDonald’s and Burger King all have veggie versions of their famous sandwiches? Not a veggie patty (ewwwww). I’m talking all the goodness of the burger with none of the meat. The meat is the goodness you say? Meh.
Don’t be fooled. These aren’t healthy by any means. I may have knocked out a few thousand calories, but there’s more where that came from.
Give it a shot next time. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Well – you might be. If you need beef in your burgers you’ll be disappointed.
(ps – I like raw onions. I don’t get to eat them often because I don’t live alone in the wilderness. but I like them. alot.)
Anyway – what did you have for lunch?
14 Feb 2013 6 Comments
in Cooking! Tags: baby fish, bay scallops, cooking, Family, fish, Fishing, food, humor, Husband, Kids, Life, love, marriage, pasta, Photograpy, Restaurants, seafood, shrimp bay, squid, valentine s day, Valentine's Day, web md
Today’s post was going to be a mushy, gushy Valentine cooking post. A step by step of me making my husband’s all time favorite pasta – fra diavolo. Shrimp, bay scallops and squid. I was going to talk about my favorite shortcut. Rao’s tomato sauce. It’s $9 a jar – and yes, making real sauce is easy and it costs $2 – what’s your point? I was going to tell you not to be scared of shortcuts, or squid. That it’s no biggie. I’ve done it before. It cooks in a couple of seconds and people are impressed. And I had pictures…tons of freaking pictures. I was going to show you how brave I am. Buying, cleaning, chopping squid like it was my business. I’ve done it before. No big thaang. But then something happened. (if you are my husband, for the love of god, stop reading this).
As I cleaned the squid…I found….gulp….a little baby fish inside!!
After I stared at it for a few minutes and the nausea had worn off, I washed my hands and did what all smart people faced with oddities do – I YouTubed it, and googled it, and Wiki’d it, and Web MD’d it (just in case). The people of the internet told me it’s normal. Happens all the time. Feed it to my cat, etc. But even now, hours later, I shiver when I think of it. Maybe the squid had a last meal and didn’t have time to finish, maybe it was the thing they used to lure the squid. Alls I know is, it ended up in my kitchen.
I’ve been changed people. Some sort of gross seafood cherry has been popped. I had to come to terms with it quickly. My kids or my hubby could not/should not ever see this. You don’t understand. My husband, I love him, but he’s no adventurous foodie. He gets really grossed out really quickly. And I couldn’t let my kids see it – the horror the horror!
So like every good mother and wife, I got rid of the evidence and pretended all was good.
Now, safe in my bed, I can finally come to terms with it.
Here’s what I went through folks. Happy f’ing Valentine’s day…
I’ll start with the harmless ones first. Prepare yourselves. Here’s the shrimp/sauce/squid. I forgot to take pictures of the scallops because – did I mention – I found food inside the food!! It’s like a bad M.Night Shyamalan plot twist. Back to my sordid story.
Please note that my cutting board is…well..it’s all cut-up. These are not just props people. This stuff gets used!
Here’s the fresh squid. Yes, it looks slimy but there’s no smell and it handles easily. It also easily cuts into the calamari ringlets.
And then, as I clean it. I notice this little guy or gal or it. Do you want to hurl like me?
I want my mommy.
Reason number 8,222,329 to be a vegetarian: I’ve never found a carrot in the middle of my bagel. Or an almond in my banana. I’ll stop now.