Monday, November 27, 2006

At Least I Don't Talk About Stuff I Know Nothing About

I teach a fiction writing workshop at the Continuing Ed. program in Westchester, and one of the assignments was to write down some of the dialogue from Thanksgiving dinner.

There was one point after dinner that Peter's sister asked his brother about the situation in North Korea. She didn't even know the difference between North and South Korea.

Hey, at least I only talk about the things I know and read up on.

Like Britney and Kevin's divorce.

Monday, November 20, 2006

What She's Learned in Massachusetts

I'm going over my mom's house today because my sister's home from college, so I call her before I take off.

Me: I'll be there in forty minutes, okay?

Jenny: Cool beans!

I hang up the phone.

I call her again.

Me: Did you just say cool beans?

Jenny: oh...yeah.

No More Lostage!

I ordered a Garmin Nuvi 360 last night because Peter and I have the worst sense of direction EVER. It is not unlikely for us to be 2 hours late because we took a wrong turn (or a multitude of wrong turns).

Last night I told Peter:

"I ordered that navigation system you wanted."

Peter (with a small sigh of relief):

"That means that there will be no more lostage."

That's right - we're not lost, we're experiencing lostage.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Another Don't Eat Meat Story

There was a report tonight on Nightline about McDonald's burgers and that each burger is made up of hundreds of different cows.


Peter comes in the room and says, "What? Another story that says don't eat meat?"

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Kids=Terrible Marrige?

Last Thursday, I went to a party and talk inevitably turned to kids because there was one woman there who was hugely pregnant. In fact, Thursday was her due date. My friend Beth has a two-year-old, so she was the "voice of experience."

I've never had a child, and my opinion is that labor is different things to different people.

According to my husband's friend's wife Katie:

"Have you ever had really bad cramps? Childbirth pains are like that."

According to my friend Amanda:

"I can't believe there are so many people on this planet...and they're all a product of THIS!"

Beth took me aside and asked me if we were trying. I told her that we were, but we're not stressing out about it. Basically, Peter and I have been together almost ten years now, and although we would love to welcome kids into the world, we are nervous about how it's going to affect our lives - especially since none (and I mean not one) of our breeder friends seems to be getting along with their spouses (although to my face they always tell me, "it's great, I mean, totally great").

"Well," she said. "My marriage is completely terrible right now."

I love people who overshare, mostly because I'm an oversharer myself - so I grilled her about her situation. It's the same thing I see in all of my other friends...children are stressful.

"I love my daughter," she said. "And I've never experienced the kind of love she has for me and the love I have for her and I would never say that I regret bringing her into the world, but my marriage is terrible right now. But just because it's tough doesn't mean that it's not worth doing."

That is basically the best advice I've ever gotten from a friend about parenthood. Most everyone who talks about it goes on and on about how wonderful everything is, automaton-like. They give me lines like, "It's never too early," "I wished I'd started earlier," "It's the best thing I've ever done." But at the same time, they won't sit next to their husbands at the dinner table.

That's what we've been struggling with. Peter and I have a great marriage and relationship and we're best friends. We know that having kids is going to change our relationship radically, but we still want to do it. Call us crazy.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Lexington Square Cafe in Mount Kisco

Peter and I have been trying to eat at home as much as possible lately - but we had an early dinner, so last night we decided to go out and get some appetizers and dessert.

Peter wanted to go to a tea lounge, but I couldn't find one in Westchester, so I looked for a cafe. I found a place via google-search called Lexington Square Cafe which is in town.

Normally we're wary of trying new places, especially in Westchester, because even places that get good reviews are pretty disappointing.

The main disappointment at this cafe, is that it's not a cafe. I view a cafe as a place that serves coffee and is a place you can hang out with your newspaper and get dessert. This place is a restaurant. A cafe's main trade should be beverages - and I think that restaurants should not be allowed to call themselves cafes.

The bottom line is, the Lexington Square Cafe, although not terrible, was disappointing. We ordered two drinks each (Peter's wine was good, my mixed drink sucked), the hummus (terrible - and the pita breads were caked in salt - not good) and the pumpkin ravioli (not bad). The dessert was good, it was a banana roulade. The thing is, that the bill came out to be $60, which is really too pricey for a hit and miss meal. So we won't be going back.

They played really terrible 80's music during our entire meal.

That was the last straw.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Mount Kisco is Taco Fillingless

Because Peter is a vegetarian, we need to buy a product from Fantastic Foods called Taco Filling, which substitutes for the ground beef in regular tacos.

I drove all over town this past week trying to locate it. I went to the Shoprite, the A&P, and the Stop & Shop (which, by the way, had hardly anything - no cilantro, no taco filling, no pomegranate juice - the produce aisle was only a produce corner - it should be called Stop & Try to Shop). No store carried this product.

It's just not right.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Why I Will Never Register My Parents to Vote Again

My mother and I have been American citizens since I was about ten years old. During that next election year, I asked my mother if she was going to vote. Her answer to me was that she wanted to wait until I was old enough to vote, so that she could vote for the same person I would vote for.

This makes complete sense to me, because as a child of immigrant parents, I was the one who translated my school notes and had my mom sign them. Whenever there was a field trip, I would tell my parents that, yes, it was mandatory - so cough up the $15 so I can go upstate with the rest of my class to partake in a terrible production of Huckleberry Finn put together by people who couldn't even be bothered to remember their lines.

My parents always needed my help filling out any sort of legal form, which used to keep me up nights - because my Taiwanese wasn't that terrific, and I would worry that I explained something to them the wrong way, a way which might cause the government to come and take away our house.

I used to accompany them (and still do) to doctor's appointments. Once, when my dad's hay fever eyedrops fell behind the scalding hot stove at the restaurant, he called me and asked me whether or not I thought it was still okay to insert the drops in his eyes.

Me: Well, how hot does it get back there?

My Dad: I don't know, about a couple of hundred degrees? The drops were pretty expensive, so I don't want to just throw them out.

Me: Sure, use them...if you NEVER WANT TO SEE AGAIN.

During my sophomore year at Barnard College, I registered to vote for the very first time. I also brought home registration materials for my parents - and it was the first time either of them voted.

My dad is a staunch single-issue Republican. That is, he believes that Republicans will defend Taiwan in case of any war with China. I planned on voting for Clinton, and my mother had been promising that she would vote my way.

Cut to the day of the election. I went into the voting booth first and waited outside until my parents were done. My father comes out looking all proud of himself and I told him that it didn't matter who he voted for, because my vote cancelled his out, and I had an extra vote in my mom - at which point my mother looked rather sheepish.

When I asked her who she voted for, she looked at me, then at my dad, and then told me that she had to vote for who my dad voted for - and I said:

"I will NEVER register you guys to vote again. And that means that YOU'LL NEVER VOTE AGAIN."

Because essentially, they're too lazy - and the paperwork? Without me, it's more than they can handle.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Alan Alda's Baked Pasta

Alan Alda gave me the easiest pasta dish.

Because it's so easy, I now make this almost every week. I don't use as much olive oil, and I use my covered Le Creuset instead of aluminum foil to cover the pasta.

Alan says to stir it every 5 minutes, but I just do it every ten. Because the pasta is cooked in the oven, it gives it a different texture than boiled pasta. It's a bit gummier, in a delicious way.

Peter makes his own rendition of this. He puts in fresh tomatoes and zucchini and half a can of crushed tomatoes, along with some Italian herbs and spices.

Soooo good.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The NYC Marathon

Since it was a nice day, Peter and I decided to go to Park Slope, Brooklyn to look at some open houses. Yes, we just bought a place in Mount Kisco, but we don't think the suburban life is for us.

The problem is, that every time we try to go to Brooklyn, we hit a ton of traffic. For a split second, we thought that we might want to get married at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. It took us about three hours to get to Brooklyn and we completely missed our appointment with the caterer.

Also, almost every time I meet my friend Maribeth, who lives in Park Slope, God throws down hurricanes and floods.

We completely forgot that today was the day of the NYC MARATHON. Traffic was really crazy - we were literally going about five miles an hour.

At one point, as we were on I-87, I said:

"Hey, look! See the runners?"

Peter looked.

Unfortunately, that was the same exact moment that the signs for I-278 West appeared and Peter completely missed it. So we had to turn back, but the ramps to go back on the highway were all closed off.

Finally, we get back on the highway. Then, for some reason, we overshot the exit, so we turn back on the highway to go back to the Tillary Street exit, which was closed going north. So I said, "since 29B is closed, let's take 29A."

Big mistake - since exit 29A without warning takes you straight into CHINATOWN!!

Let's just say it took us about 3 hours to get to Park Slope and Peter said:

"Maybe God is trying to tell us something...something like Park Slope is NOT FOR YOU!"