Sunday, October 14, 2007


Blogger in all their wisdom wiped out my old template without warning. So now I have a new one. Still trying to catch up and add postings to this...

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Feliz Cumpleanos a Mi

Jess' bachelorette party is in Miami this weekend, but she was happy to celebrate my birthday on Friday as well. The guys were here last weekend, but I think we have dropped more in one day than they did all weekend. That's not difficult since 18% gratuity is automatically included on everything. Regardless, yeay for poolside booze, bikinis, and Cuban food!

We have visited Mangos twice. Not much has changed since last February. The service is indifferent at best, but the view is nice. I still don't really get the sheer leopard-print catsuit with moon boots, but hey, whatever floats your boat.

It is monsooning now; I hope I don't get delayed.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

America Runs on Dunkin' ... in Aruba

I really need a vacation, especially after someone from work called me while I was in the cab on the way to our hotel.

Aruba is a perfect balance of relaxing and convenience. We are within walking distance of a lot of great non-chain restaurants, but it's not too crowded. A family friend gave us some recommendations ahead of time, and so far they've been great. The hotel's restaurants are all right and a little overpriced, but luckily all the hotels are connected, one of them with a beachside Dunkin' Donuts!!!!

One thing to note, it is impossible to read the NYTimes on the beach because the tradewinds are too strong. Bring cheesy mass-market paperbacks instead. Also, avoid DePalma Island, unless you enjoy water parks and shallow-water snorkelling with fish that don't respect personal space.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

In Vino Felicitas

J's frosh-year floormate got married on the left coast last night, so we all flew out to SFO to celebrate with her. They liked Mike and Lisa's wedding at Raphael so much, that they had theirs at a winery as well. We definitely did not complain!!! Flying home today is going to be rough. I really wanted to take the day and take J on a special wine tasting and picnic, but we couldn't risk taking a red-eye and arriving late.

Mental note: do not allow Mike to plan a wine tour again unless tolerance is at a peak.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Bring on the Hog

Yeay for barbecue! J and I went to the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party. It was friggin crowded, but the lines we waited on is worth it. We had Big Bob Gibson's pulled pork sandwich, sausage and brisket from Salt Lick BBQ in Driftwood, Texas, and beef ribs from the soon-to-be-opening Hill Country BBQ in New York. Hooray for more fab joints coming to town!

Thank God J doesn't keep kosher :)

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Alleluia The Strife Is O'er

J took his test today. They shut the AC off in the Armory halfway through. I'm thrilled it's over! To celebrate I made all the things he liked, although he would have preferred some hours of shuteye.

Onto Level 2...and two back-to-back weddings this month.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

T Minus One Week!

J takes CFA Level 1 in less than a week - hooray!!!

Went to my friend's wedding stag. It was a lot of fun. When the Romanian pop/quasi-techno came on, everyone would grab hands and dance in a circle. Lots of aerobic activity!


Sunday, May 13, 2007

There's No Place Like Home

Exhausted. Working late. At least there is good food here in Vancouver, especially Asian.

Can I go home yet?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Thank God for Small Miracles

After a hellacious day, before an 11pm flight to Vancouver, I managed to swing an invitation to the BA lounge. It's just lovely. Even though I didn't get upgraded to biz class, I have a seat open next to me.

[It's been a while. Will be retroactively updating the blog while away. My company does not allow me to post during work hours, nor am I supposed to talk about work. Not that I really have, but I may tweak old posts here and there...]

Sunday, May 06, 2007

There's the Beef

Today is J's birthday. To celebrate, we and his family ate at Ben and Jack's. Why can't all steak taste this good?

Four weeks to go until the CFA (a/k/a that effing test)!!!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Took mom and auntie to Ouest for their birthday dinner. My hanger steak was scrumptious. However, the whole point was to have their Ouest Sour, which is no longer on the cocktail menu :(. They did give me the recipe:

yuzu juice
simple syrup

Will have to try it, if I can find a good source of yuzu juice...

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Can You Keep a Secret?

I loved wine touring in the Shenandoah Valley. It was so relaxed, and talking to the owners and vintners was really interesting. Plus they actually provide decent pours. Before we left Sacramento, we bought some gourmet goodies for a hillside picnic at Amador with a bottle of their Rosato. We had so much, by the time we hit Noceto, my palate was so burnt.

I hope the masses don't find these places. My fear is that they will become as snotty and overrun as Napa and Sonoma...

Time to go home. No upgrade :(

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

California Dreamin'

Headed out to Frisco for a conference, hope to catch up with some friends as well.

Mental note: If you have liquids and need to check your bag, arrive at least 45-50 minutes before your flight. I learned that the hard way, especially since Airtrain stopped and did not move for 10 minutes. Had to take the flight after it and miss a (mediocre) free dinner. ARGH!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I'm Against It

I'm still in the middle of reading Against the Day by Thomas Pynchon. SHould have listened to J when he wished me luck (he gave up after a few pages of Gravity's Rainbow)This tome is over 1000 pages long, and it could kill someone if I threw it at their head. It's a real pain in the neck to read while standing on the subway, not to mention the space it takes up in my attache.

Michiko Kakutani really hit the nail on the head with her review, that it "reads like the sort of imitation of a Thomas Pynchon novel that a dogged but ungainly fan of this author’s might have written on quaaludes. It is a humongous, bloated jigsaw puzzle of a story, pretentious without being provocative, elliptical without being illuminating, complicated without being rewardingly complex." However, it still puzzles me how this book made the Top 100 Notable Books of 2006.

As much as I hate putting down books in the middle, I'm very tempted. This book is too convoluted, has too many characters, and just seems too outrageous and fictional to be even remotely possible. Its historical-science fiction bent reminds me of Neal Stephenson, without the adherence to a central theme and the quality of writing that I'm used to with Stephenson.

Will I make it to the end???

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Fun Continues

Today my company closed on the deal to acquire Giuliani Capital Advisors. This is public knowledge so I'm allowed to post it. The next 60 days are going to be delightful, as that's how long we have to integrate them into our business.

I'm still full from Easter dinner at my cousin's house...

Monday, April 09, 2007


For lunch I decided to treat myself to the Russian Tea Room. Having never been, I figured I should get there before it closes again. The chicken Kiev was very decadent, the foie gras in the center making it especially decadent. Service was impeccable. No snootiness, thank God. The only smudge on an otherwise pleasant treat was the French family with three small children who came in toward the tail end of my dessert and tea service. Would definitely go back, especially if someone else is paying :)

Monday, April 02, 2007

Pre-Seder Sighting

Saw Ed Koch chowing down at Tang Pavilion today. Guess he was getting the carbs in before the chometz has to go away for a week! Tonight we go to Jason's parents' house for dinner. I managed to find kosher prosecco from northern Italy.

Chag Sameach Pesach to all my Jewish friends.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Found this meme on the blog of a friend from college/former work colleague. It's questionable to me how some of these books made the top 100 of all time, but I guess it's all relative (sales? hype? newspaper article? amount of watercooler/blog chatter it generates?) Bold means I've read it; italics means that I have it on my bookshelf. Here goes...

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher̢۪s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees(Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)

26. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)

41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)

45. The Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)

47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She's Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller's Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolsoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davies)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones' Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. Tigana (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte's Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard's First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Tag, J or M, you're it!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Update: Dump Delta

After a month, I finally received a response from Delta customer service on their horrendous performance during my New Orleans trip. My nastygram to their customer service website got me 5000 SkyMiles. The angry fax to their VP of Customer Service at HQ got me 100 bucks off a future flight (although I can't book it on - meaning more fees).

Lesson learned, boys and girls? If you get treated like crap, bitch right back.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Nazdravy na Praha

My sorority sister K and I have headed to Prague for a few days. I like it very much because :

  • It's very walkable
  • It's much cheaper than the Euro zone countries
  • Food is very edible and beer is very quaffable
  • There is a lot of culture
  • My good friend Y from college is our personal tour guide (although I happened to catch him while he struggles with his separation and decision to divorce)

The flight over here on Czech Airlines was a little scary. They have Airbus 310s crossing the Atlantic. They especially look like dwarves at JFK Terminal 4 next to the South African and Emirates behemoths. There is zero leg room in coach, and the @$$hole in front of K insisted on leaning all the way back so that his head was in her crotch. The service and the food are passable.

Our hotel (The Holiday Inn Express) is right near the main train station, within striking distance of most major attractions, and has free breakfast. The radiant heating on the bathroom floor is a little weird, and of course the double room has twin beds, but it's uberclean and is perfect for sleeping.

I've noticed that there are tons of Italians here. If you knocked me out and dropped me on the Charles Bridge, I would think I were in Rome with all of the teenagers five-deep smoking, making out, and talking about life.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Shameless Plug

I have a new writing gig. Check it out!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

O Canada

Headed to Vancouver Thursday night for one action-packed day of work on Friday. Returned tonight. Was denied from getting biz class tickets (wah!), but Cathay Pacific has quality service in economy, probably better than some American airlines' first class. We also got upgraded to business class on the way home since economy was full. The color scheme is a little jarring - several shades of teal and turquoise upholstery, red/purple/red and white uniforms, disco-brothel mood lighting.

Vancouver is breathtakingly beautiful. The late-night lights on the ski mountains unnerved me a little, but the Hyatt was fantastic. Despite arriving at 2am local time, I slept like a baby. Unfortunately we did not have too much time to wander around, but we will be heading back soon for a longer period of time. The city is being built up, I'm sure partially for the 2010 Winter Olympics, and the view of Coal Harbour from the Imperial Chinese restaurant was already gone. Luckily, the crab with ginger and green onion made it worthwhile.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Stupid Yalie

Do undergrads really think this masturbatory, self-serving, obnoxious self-promotion will actually get them a job?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Tonight's menu was

Chicken Veronique (J's recipe)
Wild Rice
(slightly over)Steam Broccoli
a fantastic German Riesling (thanks Tony!)

Subtly Spicy Chili Brownies cut into hearts with Haagen Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream (courtesy of Rachael Ray)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

I Got Bourbon-Faced on Sh*t St.

Despite the air travel debacle, I managed to eke out a good 36 hours in New Orleans. J didn't react too well to the mid-afternoon hurricanes at Pat O'Brien, but the muffaletta seemed to cushion my stomach enough to run around into the wee hours. Our hotel was at the end of the parade route, so float occupiers proceeded to chuck entire bags of beads at us. One guy even tried to pitch an enormous Sponge Bob Squarepants at me; I politely declined. We then proceeded to my friend's favorite gay bar at the end of Bourbon Street. Apparently the other one is scary and militant. We both agreed that the bartender was cute and that boys dancing on bars in varying styles of lingerie is icky. We agreed to disagree on the definition of the word "fag hag" and how that term would apply to me since I was accompanying him out. I was then hit on by a lesbian with her questioning male friend, who then hooked up with my friend after I rebuffed their advances. Fun stuff until I had to drag my friend back to the hotel and then yak up the muffaletta.

The next day we chowed down on some yummy Cajun food and did some more walking around before going home. The Dog "Parade" was today, although it did not seem that organized. Luckily, there were no flight dramas

Friday, February 09, 2007

Dump Delta

My trip to N'Awlins was seriously marred and almost ruined by Delta's horrendous delays and even worse customer service in ATL. Here's a summary of what happened:

  • The plane is late arriving into LGA and took off an hour late.
  • We had 20 minutes to make our connection, but we had get from Terminal A to Terminal E.
  • When the gate agent saw us running down the hallway to make the flight with about 10 minutes to go, they shut the door on us and then yelled at us. Didn't even try to help us, didn't tell us we had been rebooked, just yelled and told us to go to customer service (all the way in Terminal T).
  • Customer service was rude (whatever happened to Southern hospitality?), told me that I obviously don't fly very often (are you kidding?), threatened to have my boyfriend arrested for exclaiming "This is crap!", and then made us pay for the hotel, hiding behind Air Traffic Control as the reason why we were stranded.

The horrible customer service agent was wearing a "Keep Delta MY Delta" lanyard. At this point, US Airways can have Delta, PLEASE! I would expect top-notch service at a company's HQ. Plus, the more I look around on Flyertalk and in Google, it seems that this is an endemic problem and not a fluke.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Restaurant Week cont.

Spice Market was just as good with their prix-fixe lunch as they were for my mom's birthday dinner last year.

Osteria del Circo had a good selection. The boar stew looked better than my fish, but everything was very tasty.

Molyvos was great, but a lot of the more interesting menu choices cost extra. Isn't the whole point of Restaurant Week to have a more affordable menu?

Overall, a tasty week.

p.s. Happy Groundhog Day!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Happy Australia Day!

This is the closest holiday to the American July Fourth, although they commemorate different things. Who cares, there are free meat pies sausage rolls, and Lamington in the company pantry. Since it is a holiday, and no-carb diet rules are suspended on holidays, I'm going to dig in, maybe have a Tim-Tam while I'm at it...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Restaurant Week - Take 1

It's the most wonderful time of the year! What beats eating three-course meals at swanky restaurants for the price of an entree?

This week I managed to hit three places:

Hudson Cafeteria: very Goth university dining hall serving haute comfort food. Yum!
Estiatorio Milos: expensive but yummy Greek food; I still like Uncle George's or Mythos better
The Water Club: quite possibly the WASPiest restaurant ever. Unadventurous food, neat view of the East River and the heliport.

Next week I have a few more lunches, and I'm trying to find somewhere more exotic than TWC to surprise J...

Saturday, January 20, 2007


My manicure lasted over a week without noticeable chipping, I only broke (well, picked at and broke) two nails, and my manicurist did not yell at me for having shredded cuticles this week. Can I keep this up and have scratchworthy talons?

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Brief Reprieve from Winter

For the first time since high school, I have Martin Luther King, Jr. Day off. My aunt has been harassing me to come visit her and my uncle at their newly-renovated condo in Palm Beach (as if she needed to twist my arm), so I did. The weather was absolutely perfect - not overly sunny, breezy, 70's. I broke my Phase 1 induction by drinking some wine and having the combo platter at John G's in Lake Worth, but it was totally worth it. The pool was a bit breezy for reading my back issues of the NYT, and there were dead Portguese man-o-war all over the beach, but otherwise, it was a nice recharge.

I wish I could retire right now, preferably somewhere that has an average yearly temperature of 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. But then I might get bored. Maybe I will shoot for retirement at 45...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Nuptial Fever

This year it looks like I will be attending at least five weddings, possibly more. The festivities kicked off with my friend Chris and Heidi's weekend, perfectly timed to fall on the warmest January day ever last Saturday.

Some of my friends who are in the thick of planning have recommended eloping. If and when the time comes for me, let's see how things are. I think my mother would kill me for not taking her dress shopping but my father would be thrilled he didn't have to pay. Tough choices...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Attention lushes!

This list of things for drunks to do before they die is fantastic. Who even knew there was a "Modern Drunkard" magazine? What's next, The Smack Addict Review?

Monday, January 01, 2007

Danke shoen

For New Years Eve, J and I ventured to Chicago to hang out with his frat brother. He is the chef/restaurant consultant that made the feast for us in October. Unfortunately, some of our friends were unable to join us, so the three of us consumed 11 courses of food meant for 5 people over 3 days. It was very enjoyable; I passed out on the couch after the main course and the midnight champagne.

The boys wanted to go see the Bears-Packers game at nearby Soldier Field, but I vetoed that on the grounds that a) I was still recovering from bronchitis, which is aggravated by cold weather (although it was relatively balmy in Chi-town this past weekend); and b) I loathe football. Being a nice girlfriend, I allowed them to watch it on TV. Given the Bears' horrific loss, it appears that they were beter off saving money on the ticket price and watching from the creature comfort of A's swank loft.

We also went for dim sum before heading back to Newark. Luckily, we were not delayed as much as Continental's website indicated.

I am now low-carbing it a la South Beach Phase 1. My main resolution this year is to drop all the weight I gained last year (argh!) and then some. I will motivate myself with a massive shopping spree in early spring if I drop a size or two.

Happy 2007 everyone, and thanks for reading my drivel for the past three years :).