Friday, May 30, 2008

The Dog UnWhisperer

Yesterday Peter took the dogs out and this guy with his dog came toward Rocky and Scout - and of course they immediately flip out.

"This is GREAT PRACTICE!" The guy said to Peter.

Peter hates when people come near the dogs because they are badly trained. We are not whispering to our dogs so they jump around and act crazy.

The guy proceeds to tell Peter that he recently bought Cesar's book and is trying out all the techniques. And then he said that he was surprised that the dogs at the condo don't seem to be getting along.

"Yeah," Peter said. "There are a lot of asshole dogs here -- and a lot of asshole dog owners too."

"You did NOT say that to him," I said.

"Yeah I did. What kind of asshole sees the dogs go nuts and out of control and decide to come CLOSER TO US for the purposes of PRACTICE. Someone who doesn't GIVE A SHIT about anyone else but HIMSELF... ASSHOLE."

'nuf said.

Please come up to us if you are non-asshole-y and non-dog-whispering.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Right now it is raining HARD. I guess I spoke too soon yesterday.

HOWEVER, it was perfect weather all during lunch at Blu - nice view but the food was so-so.

I hope it's not going to rain on every birthday from now on! That would be a terrible reversal of fortunes.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Long Weekend of Birthday Happiness

There are several great things about being born at the end of May and one of them is Memorial Day weekend. Every year I celebrate my birthday during the whole entire weekend and I don't think that there has ever been bad weather on my birthday.

I also love buttercups because I always found buttercups on the playground right before my birthday.

Today Peter took me to Jackson Diner for a wonderful buffet lunch where I had tandoori chicken, chicken makhanwala, aloo gobi, potato dosai, and naan bread. It's hours later and I'm still full. It's really the best place to eat Indian food and I'm probably the only person in the world that is happy that they have moved into a bigger location because it means that we don't have to wait two hours for a table.

Then we went to Patel Brothers grocery store next door where we bought bags and bags of spices. Cauliflower for 99 cents, a pound of turmeric for $1.99. By the end of this shopping trip Peter was saying, "Screw you Mrs. Greens!" We left the store with bags of groceries and only spent $19! This place is like the Disney World of Food.

Afterwards we went to Carroll Gardens and walked around. I love walking around the city during Memorial Day weekend and Fourth of July weekend. I don't know why, but the city literally empties out. And I LOVE New York without a ton of people. I think Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to visit New York City because you can always get a seat at your favorite restaurants and bars, you don't have to dodge a million people, and the weather is perfect.

Tomorrow's my real birthday day and that's when I get my PRESENTS!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Soup Lady on Oprah

The other day, while I was watching Oprah, I saw the Ladles of Love soup lady - On OPRAH! I called Peter on the telephone (because God forbid I actually get up and walk to the other side of the apartment) and said, "Soup Lady's on Oprah!"

Peter runs into the room, looks at the television, and says, "So I guess I'm about as tall as Oprah."

This is something he does every time he sees a celebrity around another celebrity or person he has met in real life.

He knows that he is a little taller than Halle Berry, so whenever she's in a movie with someone, he'll say, "I'm definitely taller than that guy, because he's shorter than Halle Berry."

Is this something all men do?

Friday, May 23, 2008

I'm Not Wrong

Peter and I were talking about something, and by talking, I mean we were probably arguing and I kept saying, "I'm not wrong."

Peter: "But you can't keep saying that because that's just YOUR view of things."

Me: "Okay fine. When I say I'm not wrong, what I mean is IN My OPINION. But what I REALLY MEAN is I'm not wrong."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Half-an-Hour Decision

Tonight Peter tuned into the Laker-Spurs basketball game, and knowing that he doesn't like both teams, I said, "Which team are you rooting for?"

"Well, we HATE both teams," he said. "It really doesn't matter."

So we're sitting around talking about the tag sale we're having next next Saturday and all of a sudden he says:

"Okay, it's taken me a half-hour, but I think I want to Spurs to win. Because we REALLY HATE the Lakers."

Thanks for clarifying what we are thinking.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Everybody's A Star

I discovered a web site the other day written by someone Peter and I used to know. It's basically a web site chronicling the everyday details of this person's daughter, written in the child's point of view.

I thought that was a strange choice because most of the posts were about how wonderful her parents basically, the adults are writing wonderful things about themselves, but putting the words into the mouth of their infant. It kind of creeped me out a little bit, but it made Peter mad.

"There used to be an understanding that there are some people who did interesting things and some other people were interesting, and they put themselves out there. But now, with blogs, anybody can write about anything and put it up on the internet and feel as if they're relevant. And now you have thousands of people who think they're contributing to the world because they take the time to write some nonsense on a stupid blog."

Did I mention that Peter's a cool-person-snob? Of course, this diatribe was followed by a, "Well, not you, honey. Because YOU are INTERESTING and a GOOD WRITER."


And then he had another very good point:

"Do you know how much I HATE IT when I'm looking for information and I'll randomly get forwarded to someone's blog? Do you know HOW ANNOYING IT IS?"

So for all those people out there who are looking to see if Brad Pitt is a vegetarian or want to see pictures of Liz Cho's feet:

I'm sorry.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Let's Hope It's a Software Problem

The one thing I really hate about bourocrasy, oops, I mean bureaucracy (I thought that looked strange) of any kind is when people say, "Oh, don't worry, just do THIS. It'll be fine."

The nurse over at the fertility clinic basically told me that once I get my period, I should just call up some clinics for a test I needed to have done. She didn't say, "By the way. If you get your period on a Friday afternoon after 3pm, you'll have to wait until Monday morning to make any sort of appointments, by which time, EVERYTHING will have filled up."

I had a bit of misfortune because I'm supposed to get this test done on Day 5-10 of my cycle and this week happens to end on Memorial Day weekend, so there are three prime days for testing that are completely off the table. I called about seven places before I could find one that would squeeze me in. Everyone else said, "Sorry, just call back during your next cycle."

Right. The whole REASON I have to get this test done is that I HAVE NO REGULAR CYCLE. If I couldn't get an appointment, I might have to wait another THREE MONTHS.

I also got annoyed today because I had to cancel a get-together with a friend of mine because of all these doctor's appointments. When I explained the situation, she clicked her teeth very judgemental-like and said, "Oh, why are you doing that? You don't want to go down THAT path, do you?"

When I explained that I was going to get the baseline tests done so that I can figure out what I want to do, she kept saying things about how terrible the infertility process is and how I shouldn't do it. It took her two months having mundane sex with her husband to conceive her daughter, so I felt that she had no right to make any comments on my choices.

She went on and on and I interrupted her by saying, "Yes, well there's a possibility that there's nothing wrong physically so that I won't have to resort to anything terrible. If it's a hormone issue and I can take a pill, that's something I'd like to find out and I think it's the smart thing to do."

Basically, in Peter-computer-geek-speak, I'm hoping that it's a software problem and not a hardware problem.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Day 3!

Today I went to have some blood tests and an FSH screening. Hopefully everything went well and the blood tests will come back okay. The doctor looked at my ovaries (and so did I) - it was kind of strange to see what's going on inside my body.

At one point, the doctor was showing me my ovaries and counting the follicles. He said I had a normal amount of follicles and tried to point them out to me, but I felt the same way I used to when I tried to find images in Magic Eye posters. I kept saying, "I don't see them."

He kept pointing them out, but then after a while, he said, "Trust me. They're there."

That's good.

This exam wasn't that terrible. It's the fallopian tubes dye test later this week that is making me nervous. Eeek.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

No Love for The Cafe of Love in Mount Kisco

There's a cafe that just opened up a few weeks ago that is the sister store to the soup place we love, Ladles of Love. The only bad part about the soup place is that there's no place to sit down.

Yesterday, Peter took me to the Cafe of Love in Mount Kisco and we had a really disappointing time. The soup place has plenty of vegetarian options, and the menu specifically points out what is vegetarian and what isn't. So we figured that this new restaurant would do the same. There was only one dish that didn't have meat in it, and Peter does this thing where he says, "Let's stay. There's something I can eat."

But what he really means is, "I don't want to eat here."

You would think that I could figure this out by now, but I think I get confused by Peter's very cheerful and laid-back demeanor.

What kind of sucks about Westchester is the Westchester-type. And this place was full of them. This is the guy who takes up way too much space and is super-loud-obnoxious, and when a wait person says, "Excuse me," he completely ignores them and if he moves, will not look waitstaff in the eye. Because servants don't exist.

I really can't stand Westchester-guy. But, hey! This place is in Westchester, so y'gotta expect this. It's a cute restaurant and the owner is really nice, but the vibe in that place is a little gross.

When we sit down, Peter asks for the pasta dish if they can make it without sausage, but unfortunately, they can't. There's only one other dish he can order and it was...a cheddar omelet. I mean, who has a cheddar omelet for dinner?

We ordered the pomme frites, which are pretty good, but are not really pomme frites. They're French Fries. We were expecting real European-style pomme frites.

And then, Peter's meal comes...with a side of pomme frites.

Even though, yes, we read the menu, I still felt that it was the waiter's job to let us know that the ONLY THING PETER COULD ORDER came with a side of the appetizer we ordered. He could have said, "Y'know, the thing you ordered comes with that appetizer, you might want to try something else."

That made me really mad. I used to wait tables so I know the waiter's job. He is supposed to ensure that you have a good meal and who wants to eat two portions of the same thing?

Peter kept saying, "We had the menus in front of us. We're supposed to order our own meals."

And my response was, "When I used to wait tables I would point out things like this and take the time to explain the menu because that's HOW I MADE GOOD TIPS."

My meal was really good, but I couldn't really enjoy it because I kept looking across the table at a VERY unhappy husband.

"I feel really bad about this," I said.

"Well, you should," he said.

HUH? I thought? You said? What about "Let's stay. There's something for me to eat?"

Sometimes I just don't know what to do. At other times when I have insisted we leave a restaurant, Peter gets really mad because he says things like, "I told you IT WAS OKAY. Let's STAY."

Other times, it's, "You SHOULD feel bad."

This married to a vegetarian thing is so annoying sometimes.

Another disappointing Westchester restaurant. So what else is new? The only place we keep going to in Westchester is Tomatillo, but that CANNOT be the only great place with good food and nice vibes in this county!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Progeny 2008!

When Peter and I went to the fertility specialist, the nurse gave us a whole list of tests I would have to undergo during my next menstrual cycle, which started today.

I called the office and set up about three different tests and I have to call another office to set up another, more invasive, test. Fun!

It was kind of amusing, because I called and the reaction on the other end of the line was, "So you're at Day 1!!"

In my mind today is no longer Friday but Day 1!! and Saturday is now Day 2!!

I know that I probably should have made all these appointments a few years ago. This is something my mother nags me about at least twice a week. Peter and I had a conversation about this last night, about whether it would have been better to find out earlier that I probably wouldn't be able to conceive naturally.

He said that this was all for the best, because we weren't ready to have children earlier and it wouldn't have been a good idea to try at that time.

I have very mixed feelings about this because having children is something I've always wanted to experience, but at the same time, not everyone gets to have everything they want in life.

Peter's mother considers herself the unluckiest person in the world and she had four healthy children. Having that in her life didn't make her a happy person.

I feel so very lucky to have met Peter and to be able to share my life with him.

In a few weeks, we'll have some answers about whether or not we'll be able to have children. I feel like I'm standing in a hallway of locked doors holding a string of keys and I'm not sure which doors are going to be able to open up.

I just hope that I don't become one of those women who get really bitter about other people's happiness.

When Peter's sister had trouble getting pregnant the first few years of her marriage, every time you would bring up a story about someone else having a baby, she would say something in a really snide way. One time, she said something like, "Oh yeah, they're reproducing?"

I don't think I have that kind of personality, but it's a human reaction to feel a bit sad for yourself.

It's kind of daunting when I think about all the people who had to survive cave-ins, tigers, evolution, revolutions, and all my ancestors who had to survive to adulthood to have progeny to get to a point where I could come into the world. It's pretty amazing.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Don't Blame the Dogs!

While we were on vacation, Peter received a frantic call from his mother because her eye was itchy and it was driving her crazy. When he told her to go to her doctor, her reply was, "But I went yesterday."


On Mother's Day, he went to visit his mom and her eye looked like it had puffed into a sort of eye pus balloon at some point, and now the balloon had become deflated, so you could see all the flabby left-over eye balloon pooled around her eye. I hope I adequately described this in some sort of vivid second-hand manner, because I wasn't actually there. At the last minute, I didn't feel up to it because I was still tired from our plane ride the night before.

Even though this eye allergy flared up one week after her visit, she is convinced it is because of the dogs.

When she pet the dogs, Peter told her to wash her hands. This is something we do every day, every time we touch the dogs. She went to the bathroom and put her hands under the tap...but apparently decided not to squirt that germ-killing medium we call SOAP on her hands.

The other day, Peter asked her why she didn't put soap on her hands and her reply was that it was sheer stupidity. But then Peter pressed her further.

"Ma. When you wash your hands at your house, do you wash them with soap?"

"Every time."

"So...Why didn't you wash them with soap at our house."

"I don't know. That's why it's so stupid. I ALWAYS wash my hands with soap."

This is when I started to over-think this. I convinced myself that she didn't wash her hands because she didn't understand that the liquid in the convenient pump dispenser was soap. In fact, she might not even know that soap comes in a liquid form now because she lives in that time capsule she calls her apartment in the Bronx.

Peter said I was completely ridiculous. But I say that I will never overestimate someone who still cannot figure out that when you get into the passenger side of an automobile, you should not try to get in with your right foot first.

I don't believe that the dogs were the culprit, because allergies tend to flare up quite suddenly. I know, I experienced a case of Fries Hives at the City Limits Diner. I ate some Fries that they sprinkled some mysteriously delicious spices on and broke out in hives all over my arms INSTANTLY.

I'm convinced Peter's mother must have dropped a piece of paper on the street, picked it back up along with whatever microbes were laying about, and later, rubbed her hands all over her face and into the petri-dish she calls her eye.

So, just to be safe, I think she should stop coming to our house. I mean, I'm ONLY thinking of her HEALTH.

Monday, May 12, 2008

1001 Books

How could someone compile a list called 1001 Books to Read Before You Die and not have his head completely explode?

Here is a list of the complete 1001 books.

I've read 89 of those books! Actually, I've read more, but I limited myself to only the books I remember the plot of, so anything I read in fifth grade and can't remember didn't make the list.

# indicates books I listened to on tape.
* indicates books I read more than once.

My one caveat - I included Infinite Jest, even though I only read about half of it, because dude! That thing is 1088 pages - so my reasoning is that those 500 pages I read will NOT go to waste! So you could say I read 88.5 books on the list.

# On Beauty – Zadie Smith
# The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon
# Everything is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer
Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
# The Corrections – Jonathan Franzen
The Body Artist – Don DeLillo
# White Teeth – Zadie Smith
*The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood
The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
Glamorama – Bret Easton Ellis
The Hours – Michael Cunningham
*The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
attempted - Infinite Jest – David Foster Wallace
Alias Grace – Margaret Atwood
#The Shipping News – E. Annie Proulx
Trainspotting – Irvine Welsh
The Stone Diaries – Carol Shields
*The Virgin Suicides – Jeffrey Eugenides
*The Robber Bride – Margaret Atwood
*The Secret History – Donna Tartt
Possessing the Secret of Joy – Alice Walker
Jazz – Toni Morrison
*The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje
Black Water – Joyce Carol Oates
*The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien
*Like Life – Lorrie Moore
# Possession – A.S. Byatt
Billy Bathgate – E.L. Doctorow
Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
The Temple of My Familiar – Alice Walker
Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel
Cat’s Eye – Margaret Atwood
Beloved – Toni Morrison
* Anagrams – Lorrie Moore
*Reasons to Live – Amy Hempel
# The Cider House Rules – John Irving
Less Than Zero – Bret Easton Ellis
*The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
The Lover – Marguerite Duras
*The Color Purple – Alice Walker
*The House of the Spirits – Isabel Allende
Delta of Venus – Anaïs Nin
Interview With the Vampire – Anne Rice
Fear of Flying – Erica Jong
Sula – Toni Morrison
The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison
# I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
*The Godfather – Mario Puzo
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test – Tom Wolfe
In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys
The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey
A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
*Franny and Zooey – J.D. Salinger
*To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
*The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell
Animal Farm – George Orwell
*The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Out of Africa – Isak Dineson (Karen Blixen)
*Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
*To The Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf
*The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
*Mrs. Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
*The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Trial – Franz Kafka
The Age of Innocence – Edith Wharton
Dracula – Bram Stoker
The Time Machine – H.G. Wells
*The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
The Portrait of a Lady – Henry James
Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
*Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
*Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lonely – Harriet Beecher Stowe
The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne
*Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
*Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
The Fall of the House of Usher – Edgar Allan Poe
Frankenstein – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
*Emma – Jane Austen
*Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
*Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
*Aesop’s Fables – Aesopus

I know, only a nerd would do this.

Friday, May 09, 2008


Peter and I are at the Westin Dilpomat Resort Hotel & Spa in Hollywood, FL. I know, it's a mouthful, but the place is HUGE and has 2 locations.

We've had to change our rooms twice since we got here - Basically, when we first checked in, because we have different last names and we are here for a conference, the hotel booked us a room with two double beds. And even though at the lobby, when the front desk clerk said, "Two double beds, is that alright?" Peter was the one who said, "Sure!"

But when we get to the room, Peter looked at the beds and said, "Those are WAY too small! You move around WAY too much while you sleep." So I had to run downstairs and change our room. I'm sure it was annoying to the clerk. He said that they had another room with a king-sized bed, but there was no balcony, which was fine with me, because the balcony in that room basically overlooked the next building and had a lovely view of the 7Eleven.

Our next room was on the 35th floor and gorgeous! I felt a bit bad, but every time we have requested a room change at a hotel, we were given a room that was head and tails better than the one we had originally, which is positive reinforcement for negative behavior. I may have to start asking for room changes more often, if that's the case.

We had a view of the ocean and the city, and we were really happy there until a few hours ago when there was a torrential rain and thunderstorm that lasted for about ten minutes, but resulting in the cascading of water down the sides of the window which got poured all over the carpet. I think all of the rainwater in Hollywood, Fl landed on our carpet, there was so much water.

So, room change number 2 - And this last room we got is completely fantastic. Full-on ocean-view WITH a balcony! I think if we ask for another room change, we're going to get the Presidential suite.

When I told my sister this story, she said that she is very sure that hotel double-beds are smaller than real-life double beds, and I must agree. Although I'm sure the front-desk clerk would beg to differ.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Trader Joe's Joe Joes Are EVIL

The other day, a friend of mine had a bag of Trader Joe's Joe Joes in her bag and offered me one. They are an all-natural OREO cookie for those of us who read nutritional labels on all boxes. It is really the most delicious thing in the world. Later that day, when I found myself at Trader Joe's, I slipped a box into my cart.

Two days later, right before Peter and I finished the box, he said, "Do you realize that TWO of these are ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY calories?"

I was stunned. I couldn't believe that I was gobbling up THOUSANDS of calories.

He looked at me very gravely and said, "You CANNOT buy these EVER AGAIN."

Sunday, May 04, 2008

You'll Need a Husband for That

I met this lady today and the minute she told me that she fed her 15-year-old poodles organic food that she makes herself, I knew that she must have been a 70's hippie-lady. And later, when I asked her what her last name was, she said, "My last name or my husband's last name, because we have DIFFERENT last names."

It's kind of funny because I didn't take my husband's last name, although a lot of my married women friends have started to do that. It's not that big a deal now, but in the 70's, when this lady did it, it was a really RADICAL notion. And I could tell that she still kind of feels that way, by her reaction.

In Taiwan, where my mother is from, a woman doesn't take her husband's last name. She's still called by her maiden name, but she may also be called So-and-so Tai Tai, which means Mrs. So-and-so.

But the last name issue got us to talking and she told me that when she first got married, she couldn't get a credit card because she kept her maiden name. The credit card company didn't issue cards to women unless they were married and had their husband's name.

Boy, how times have changed.