June 28, 2005

June 27, 2005

Footloose and Palmetto Free

Another relaxing weekend spent with the one I love. Could anything be better than that?

We saw Cinderella Man yesterday at AMC Theaters on 42nd Street. The movie was enjoyable even though Ron Howard messed up a few of the details - like he did with a Beautiful Mind.

His portrayal of Max Baer (I don't blame Craig Bierko, who portrayed him because he was following directions) was off - exaggerated for the purposed of creating a villain to Russell Crowes incredibly nice and ernest James J. Braddock. Russell Crowe delivered a thoroughly convincing performance - who knew boxers could be so nice? Regarding Renee Zelwigger's performance, I seriously doubt that Mae Braddock spoke like May West, but perhaps that is the choice the actress made in order to portray the era in which they lived.

The movie will probably be nominated for an OSCAR or two because in the end, the movie was very good in terms of telling a story and making people cry with the truth of Jim Braddock's life.

June 25, 2005

June 24, 2005

Happy Friday

Today is Friday, Friday, Friday
It will be a fun day, fun day
All day long.

June 23, 2005

Bionic Man

Isn't this amazing? This guy is wearing prosthetics that he can control with his brain. Granted, it's not as polished looking as Lee Majors in the Six Million Dollar Man but WOW!!! What a cool advancement for the science of bionics.

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Boy Scout in Utah

A little boy got lost in the woods and he was missing for four days in the Utah wilderness. Over his four day ordeal, he remained hidden from rescue workers and volunteers because his parents told him not to talk to strangers. So for four days, he wandered around trying to find his way living on no other sustenance than stream water.

Note to self. Don't let my child join any Utah chapter of the Boy Scouts. Aren't children supposed to learn survival skills in the Boy Scouts? Why was he only drinking water? This poor kid clearly hasn't been taught anything and clearly his parents aren't paying close enough attention. The parents said their child has limitations so why is he doing something as difficult as fending for himself on a nature trip with his Boy Scout troop? "The parents said they do not plan to push Brennan for answers about his time in the woods and referred reporters to Christensen. The couple said their son was born prematurely and described him as immature and a little slow, although not mentally disabled."

And another reason why my kid will not join any Utahn chapter of the boy scouts is why he got lost in the first place. The little boy who was out in the woods with him, failed to look out for his buddy which is another basic tenant of boy scouting apparently. Clearly, that message hasn't been drummed into his friend's head enough. Shouldn't there be some kind of urgency when teaching children these rules? "When Brennan Hawkins was slow to wiggle out of his body harness at a climbing wall, his 11-year-old buddy yelled "catch up with me" and ran for a steak dinner with Boy Scouts. That's the last anyone saw of Brennan before he took a wrong turn at a Scout camp and spent four days wandering the Utah wilderness before a rescuer found him in good condition Tuesday."

My point is that Brennan could have easily died and it would've been everybody' fault but his own. Thank goodness he was found because people should pay be paying close attention to slow children as much as they want to believe their child is like everyone else. I only wish that the couple whose daughter is missing in Aruba has the same luck as the Hawkins family.

June 22, 2005

AFI Top 100 Movie Quotes

Here is the list of AFI's top 100 movie quotes of all times.

Baby Born With Three Legs

This baby was born with three legs - which is misleading. The third leg is part of a conjoined twin that didn't fully develop. Surgeons helped her today and she should lead a normal life.

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The Six Legged Puppy

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Hump Day

I can't say this week is going by slowly. It's flying by. Work is as usual all consuming. At some point today, I have to take some time to name a product line and the products in the line. I hope I can pull this off.

Every skill you've learned and every job you've had leads up to the projects you do at the job you're at now. This has never been truer than the job I'm in now. Even my experience at the super market is coming in handy because a few of our clients sell food products.

Life is good.

June 21, 2005


Again, as sorry as I am to miss trivia tonight, I have to go to the gym. I haven't been for two days. Sunday was entirely devoted to getting ready for my parents visit, yesterday was entirely to devoted to work and dinner with my friend and her daughter.

So. I have to go tonight, or I won't make my goal of going to the gym 5 times a week.

I will be hosting next week with I'm not really sure who yet. My original co-host has a work emergency so I'll be hosting with his replacement who is yet to be announced.

Happy Summer Solstice

12 hours day light, 12 hours darkness.

The days will shorter from here on in but also hotter.

June 20, 2005

Korean BBQ

A friend took me to dinner tonight to a great Korean restaurant for Korean BBQ. It's been quite a while since I've had so it was great. The restaurant was called
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Kang Suh

Here is what dinner looked like. There was so much food and it was all good.
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Then on the ride home I caught a couple of blurry pictures of the sunset from the subway.

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June 19, 2005

Spring Cleaning

We spend Saturday night and Sunday morning spring cleaning. The excuse to clean was having my parent's over the house for Father's Day. For dinner, I roasted a chicken stuffed with goodies. I made a ratatouille with the season's freshest vegetables and yellow rice. Mom brought home made fruit salad laced with Mirabelle. Yummy.

The 'rents left about 9:30 and we just finished watching the White Sox/Dodgers game which was enjoyable. This season I've been developing a taste for baseball. It could be because my fiance is very enthusiastic about the sport and it's fun to share that with him.

Another fun thing we did this weekend - we have roadrunner. We have a cable modem. We have joined the 21st century. It's really great. Not only do we get to be on the phone and online at the same time but our connection is SOOO MUCH faster. But now that we have this amazing new connection, I feel this tremendous responsibility to do something interesting on the internet, something interesting on this blog.

Lesson learned this weekend - cable modem good.

Happy Father's Day

To all the dads who live in the shadows of mothers everywhere, I wish you a Happy Father's Day.

To my own dad, Happy Father's Day.

June 18, 2005


Sarah challenged me to copy her little photographical biography so I accept.

The place I grew up:
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The place I live now:
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My first name is:
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Valerie Click here

My last name is:
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My grandmother's names are
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My favorite food:
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My favorite drink:
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My favorite song:
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I Will Survive

and my favorite Beatle:
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My favorite shoes:
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the above Chinese slippers in orange


I'm sure by now you've heard of this Dean Schwartzmiller character.
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Investigators say he's been keeping a journal of the children he molested over the years. A smart neighbor became suspicious of him when he gave her young sons treats and it's a good thing too. Turns out he never registers anywhere as a sex offender as required by Megan's Law. So he's been moving from state to state for years molesting children along the way.

It's just so darn disturbing.

June 16, 2005

Hit Me One More Time

Okay. New reality show - summer programming. Hit Me One More Time.

Highlights of the show tonight.
  • Wang Chung performing It's Getting Hot in Here by Nelly
  • The lead singer of Cameo wearing a shiny black latex outfit with a screaming red cod piece.

Sacrificial Lambs

A terrible news story from London finds that young African boys are being trafficked through London churches for the purposes of human sacrifice.

At what point are things going to improve in Africa? Perhaps Geldof is right. It is going to take a worldwide effort to help the people of this region. I was listening to something last night on the radio about Sierra Leone and chidren soldiers and amputations and blood diamonds. 1 out of 4 people is reported to have A.I.D.S. People are starving over at least one quarter of the continent.

Gosh. It makes me sad.

Nature Turned On Her Air Conditioner

and we are all grateful to her for doing so. The weather is so much nicer than it was two days ago. I'm feeling better already - cleaner.

June 15, 2005

Getting Over the Hump

Wednesday is like 3:00 in the afternoon. Once you get to through that hour rest of the day goes by fairly quickly. Once Wednesday is over, the rest of the work week flies by.

I certainly did miss going trivia to last night but I'm glad I was able to work out. I'm trying to lost two pounds this week and I think I'm well on my way. We'll see.

They gym was very, very crowded. Mon, Tues and Wed are the crowded nights. Thursday through Sunday has less of a crowd. I tried to listen to Dark Side of the Moon on the treadmill's CD player but it wouldn't play. I guess the CD is just too old. I listened to the piped in club music and watched the accompanying videos on the monitor instead. I've been catching up with the popular music scene. Justin Timberlake seems to dominate the gym's station - Justin, Britney and Kylie. Does anyone else find Justin Timberlake disturbing? I think he's having some sort of identity crisis because he sings and dances like Michael Jackson which is silly because he is talented enough not to have to do a weak impersonation of MJ. Of course he could be doing it as a tribute but he should probably save that for the Kennedy Center.

June 14, 2005

Buggin' Out

Alaska is experiencing a plague of bugs. Yuck.

Hot, Hazy and Humid

When you look at the skyline from the elevated tracks of the N train in Queens, you can see a dirty layer of shmutz hovering over the city. That's what happens when the weather has been hot, hazy and humid for several days in a row. I look out at that layer of schmutz with dread on my morning commute because I know that the grimy, moist hot air will soon be settling on my skin - that I have been trying to take really good care of because of the proximity to my 40th birthday. Granted it's still a few years off but I can already see the careworn lines around my eyes when I laugh. My hands still look young but the eyes - the eyes have it. My age is starting to show and I wear my age with pride but it is showing none the less.

I'm eating my Yo Baby yogurt, a little snack before the gym - a little calcium and protein to help me along the way. I can't decide which T-shirt to wear so I'm typing this in my bra.

Are you bored yet? Me too and how nice it is to be bored for a few minutes. Things are so crazy at work now - it's great. I'm so busy all day but I remember to take breaks so the work load remains manageable.

I just got RUNNING WITH SCISSORS in the mail. I've been looking forward to reading this book for some time now. I just finished King of the World by David Remnick which is not about Leonardo DiCaprio's character in Titanic - thank you very much. It's a fantastic look at Muhammad Ali and the era that made him. The author also looks at the world of boxing and where it fits into American history. EXCELLENT. I can't recommend the book highly enough.

By the way, I went with my Green Party T-shirt.

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Not Attending Trivia Tonight

If you've come here looking to see if I'm going to Tuesday Night Trivia, I am NOT going. I am two days behind at the gym and I've got a wedding dress to look good in in October, but I'll see you there next week.

June 13, 2005

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Michael Jackson was found not guily by a jury of his peers today. I wonder if he is going to leave the country now as promised several weeks ago.

In a move that surprises no one and interests fewer people than no one, Katie Holmes is converting to Scientology.

Pink Floyd is reuniting for Live8, Sir Bob Geldof's fundraising party in Hyde Park July 2. The fund raiser will bring awareness to growing problems to Africa. If Geldof didn't organize these events I would never have known there were problems in Africa.

Monday Morning

Monday here. I don't thingk I can take it anymore. I am under so much pressure to make sure everyone is happy but no matter how hard I try, things still go wrong on Monday. I have to try to get alarm clocks working, trains running well, find matching outfits for people in the dark, and guarantee the weather is to everyone's liking. If the weather is too nice people will get upset with me because they'll wish I had provided that weather on the weekend. If its not nice enough people will assume there is some curse on Monday put on people as part of a conspiracy to make their lives miserable.

Well. I've had it. I'm tired of being Monday and tired everybody's piss poor attitude about me.

So #$*%*^ you and the horse you rode in on.

June 12, 2005

S-A-TUR-DAY Night!!

Thank you Phil for inviting Jon and me to your housewarming party. I was really impressed with your apartment and wish you the best of living in your new neighborhood.
Lazy Saturday spread to midtown Manhattan, yesterday. I recruited Sarah to hang about doing nothing with me and we ended up doing nothing at her apartment instead. We did nothing by way of synching up Dark Side of the Moon with The Wizard of Oz but only made it up to the Tin Man which is okay because that's about where the coincidences run out. I met Sarah's landlord and his lovely wife.

Around 5 we headed over to the Film Center Cafe. Here is a picture I took of the cafe using available light. You may notice how dark and depressing it is, that you can't see anything. It's the most depressing place I've ever eaten although the food was quite good, I could barely see anything. And this coming from someone who likes dark, seedy places. This is shot looking into the kitchen which is thankfully well lit. I commented to Sarah that the Film Center Cafe is the perfect gathering place for depressive artist types - well, because of its darkness.
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By the time we were ready to head back to Sarah's apartment, the skies had already opened up and were dumping buckets of water onto midtown. Here is a picture of Sarah while we wait by the front door of the cafe waiting for the rain to slow down just a little. We were both wearing open shoes and I wasn't looking forward to the prospect of getting my feet both wet and dirty.

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After drying off, we met up with our friends and drove out to Bay Ridge for the above mentioned housewarming party. In the car we had a three way camera shoot out. Here is Caren shooting at me shooting at her and then Sarah shooting at me shooting at her.

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Thank you to "CENSORED" for giving us a ride to the party through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, the traffic on the Belt, the crowded streets of Bay Ridge. We appreciate it, believe me.

Once there I rested my camera as other people were busily shooting away. Sometimes you just have to put the camera down otherwise you end up watching your life through the lens. On the way out of Phil's building, Sarah and I both got a shot of this great sign in Phil's lobby warning that the acts of trespassing, smoking, gambling, loitering or playing in the lobby by anyone other than the tenants will result in arrests by the police . . . . as opposed to what the KGB? the Gestapo? the Khmer Rouge?
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The trip from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn back to Astoria, Queens took a long time. Here is Sarah with our new friend at the Bay Ridge Avenue station. We walked out of Phil's about 11:30 and didn't get home until a little after 1am. However, as long as that took, we still did pretty well considering we had to change from an R to an N. We are fortunate that we live on the N line. It's at the entirely opposite end of the line from where we picked it up but felt fortunate and thrilled the trains were running with somewhat regularity.
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June 10, 2005

WWII Memorial

I finally have a chance to post some of the pictures from our trip to DC in May.

Here is the WW II Memorial
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White House

Here we are in front of the White House.

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Headless Horseman

This very cool painting of the The Headless Horseman story is on display at the Renwick Gallery as well.

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Renwick Gallery

A painting from the Renwick Gallery.

Isn't she lovely? Abbott Handerson Thayer is quickly becoming a favorite painter of mine.

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National Gallery

I was quite fond of these two images both from the National Gallery.

I don't know what it is about still lifes, but I always like them, especially when they are as bold as this one.
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This image fooled me. From the distance I thought it was three dimensional but up close you can see it is a flat. Pretty amazing, huh?
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National Archives

We went to the National Archives to look at the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. While waiting on line I shot this picture of the corinthian columns that dominate the facade of the National Archives building.

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Jon thought I looked cute taking that picture so he asked me to recreate my pose without the camera so he could use it to shoot the picture of me recreating shooting the above picture.

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June 09, 2005

Random Four

Random Thing #1
This morning I went into L.A. Cafe on 23rd and Broadway for some breakfast. Today was a muffin day - a low carb pistachio muffin day to be exact and the L.A. Cafe is the only place that I know of that offers one. But waiting on line I was tempted with this.
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Yes. You are reading the sign correctly. These are indeed Rocky Road Cupcakes. In a brilliant act of resistance I passed them by without a second thought until this very moment and I'm really, really thinking about them right now.
Random Thing #2
Today was one of those days, where you don't do anything or think about anything but your job. I didn't have a single thought of my own beyond what I should have for lunch, how much water should I drink and whether or not I was remembering to go to the bathroom. When I got out of work, I instantly slowed down and meandered to the subway, making a few observations and snapping a few shots. I fell in love with this piece of a NYC phone booth.

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Random Thing #3
I don't know if you believe me when I tell you that the NYC subways are slow. There is nothing worse than having to wait a long time for your train after a hard day of work. So I took a picture of this clock put there as courtesy of the NYC MTA. As well as the time, they broadcast messages like "don't lean on the doors" or "give your seat to old or disabled person" because we don't know how to do these things on our own and I'm not kidding. I don't know how many times I've given my seat up because nobody else would which is fine because that's what you should but. . . come one. Just once, I'd like to see a guy give up his seat for an elderly person or pregnant woman. By the way, I didn't get home until 6:40 pm. I don't live that far away.

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Random Thing #4
By the time I got out of the train and worked my way through the rush hour crowd and made my way out of the station and down the stairs and on to the street, I was ready to go home especially since the promise of the AC in our bedroom lay ahead of me. Jon put the AC in this morning. Thank goodness. I chose to walk past the Greek Orthodox church. In that direction there are less people and I get to look at the church's pretty garden. Here is one of their roses. I always stop and look at them because one should always take the time to pay attention to roses especially when they are big and happy like this one.

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The Onion features a report this week on performance enhancing hugs at the Special Olympics this year. I knew those people were cheating.

But What Will We Feed Our Dogs?

Landslide U.S. House of Representatives Vote to End Horse Slaughter
6/9/2005 3:35:00 PM

WASHINGTON, June 8 /U.S. Newswire/ -- For the second time in just three weeks, the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favor of stopping horse slaughter in the United States. Yesterday's 269-158 landslide vote bars federal funds from being used to facilitate all horse slaughter. A previous amendment only prevented wild horses from going to slaughter.

"The facts and truth about the immense cruelty inflicted on America's horses won out last night, despite strong last-minute efforts by pro-horse slaughter organizations such as the American Veterinary Medical Association and American Quarter Horse Association to mislead Members of Congress," said actress Bo Derek, spokesperson for the National Horse Protection Coalition, of which the Society for Animal Protective Legislation (SAPL) and Doris Day Animal League are founding members.

Because yesterday's amendment is attached to an annual spending bill, it will only stop horse slaughter for one year. The U.S. Senate must also approve the measure, which will be the next focus for the coalition. The vote demonstrates strong public and congressional support for a permanent ban -- which must be achieved through passage of H.R. 503, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. U.S. Representative John Sweeney (R- NY), who sponsored yesterday's amendment, is also the sponsor of the Act. He is joined on both measures by his colleagues, U.S. Representatives John Spratt (D-SC), Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Nick Rahall (D-WV).

"The vote on an amendment by Congressmen Sweeney, Spratt, Rahall and Whitfield is a huge victory on behalf of our campaign to end horse slaughter. These tremendous legislators, their incredible staff and all of those who voted in favor of ending horse slaughter showed us what good can come from the halls of Congress," said Chris Heyde, SAPL policy analyst.
"We always believed that if we could just bring this issue before the full Congress, we would prevail. The facts, and the American public, support an end to horse slaughter. Congress listened, and we are one step closer to making horse slaughter a thing of the past in this country. But Americans must continue to push Congress for a permanent ban," said Liz Ross, director of special projects for the Doris Day Animal League.
/© 2005 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/
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Too Hot Too Soon

It's too soon to put in the air conditioner or is it?

I woke up around 4 sweating so maybe it is. But if the weather goes back to normal, we'll have closed off the only window in our bedroom, cutting off any nice and natural spring breezes.

But I can't go through another night like last night. That was ridiculous. My throat is soar. Ow.

June 08, 2005

My Trainer and Me

Tonight when I got to the gym, my former trainer pulled me into his office and started talking to me about his personal life. It is nice to know that I've made a new friend. He told me at the end of the rap session that he thinks of me as an "older" sister. I told him lots of guys think of me as a sister and it's true. They do. There's just something very sisterly about me.

Going to the gym has now become a habit. There's no wanting to go or not wanting to go there's just going because that's what I do now in my free time. With that mind, I didn't feel much like going to the gym tonight. I wasn't expecting much from my workout. That's when you know you are going to have a great workout and guess what? I had a great workout. I did whatever you do on the elliptical machine for three miles and my heart rate was nice and high meaning I was both working my heart and burning fat. Wahoo!! When I looked at the monitors of the people to either side of me I thought it an incredible coincidence that their heart rates matched mine. Turns out the monitor I was wearing across my chest was reading out on the machines to either side of me. The guy to the left of me kept adjusting his workout because he couldn't understand why his heartrate was so high. I didn't say anything. He could afford to calm down. He was way too thin anyway.

Some Other Trivia Pictures

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Caren talking to trivia regular and occassional trivia host Jonathan Bloomfeld.
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Jonathan B. with Kory and Phil
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Third Anniversary of Tuesday Trivia

Last night was the 3rd Anniversary of Tuesday Night Trivia.

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Caren and Brad hosted and they did a terrific job.

There was a huge crowd.
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As you can see there were at least 1,000 people there.

I can't really write about it now. I'm so busy. I have to run out of here.

But I'll try to post more about it during the day.