January 31, 2006

Flavor of Love

(To see who Flav chose in the final show and to read a complete recap, click here.)

Wow. Wow. Wow. What can I say? This show just keeps getting better and better and by that I mean worse and worse. Flavor of Love is bringing out the absolute worst behavior I've yet to see on reality television. As of the latest episode there are only seven women left - Hoopz, Smiley, Goldie, New York, Hottie, Pumpkin and Red Oyster.
(If those names seem odd it's because those aren't really the names of the women participating in the show. Flavor Flav renamed everybody in the house on the first night. The names refer to something in their appearance or personality and help Flav to remember a unique quality about each one. In case you aren't familiar with the show, just before the elimation ceremony Flav looks at clocks hanging on a wall behind a curtain to choose which ladies are going to make until the next show. Each clock has a picture of each woman and her clever nickname.)

Every week there is a contest to see which of the women is going to have a private date with Flav. Last week the ladies had to prepare fried chicken.

This week there were two contests. One was in Las Vegas . . .whichever woman won the most money at roulette, won dinner with Flav. New York won that contest and basically revealed that she was madly in love with Flav and would get jealous if he went with other women - something that he said his woman would have to be able to tolerate. I know you're thinking "No wonder why she is SOOOOO in love with him."

The next contest was designed to test who can best stimulate Flav's five senses.

Flav started with a blind fold so he could test his senses of smell and taste. First he walked up and down the line and smelled each woman. He said they smelled like bacon and chicken and other food stuffs. The one who tasted like Steak scored the hightest.

Then each woman gave him a piece of herself to taste. Some let him lick their bellies, some let them kiss their hands - one enthusiastic participant stuck her tongue deep in his mouth. She scored the highest.

Then Flav hid behind a curtain so the women could get felt up by Flav. A few let him touch their torsos over their clothing and a couple let him feel up their butts over their clothes. One enthusiastic participant put his hands directly on her breasts while another just put his hand, excuse the vernacular, ALL UP IN HER S***. The breasty one scored the highest.

He also tested their singing voices and watched them dance in shadow. Basically, Smiley won. She was the one who stuck her tongue down his throat, she smelled like steak and she let Flav feel her tits. The big prize was playing in the hot tob with Flav. They made out big time and I suspect that it went a little further than just making out. This woman Smiley is really, really beautiful and I also suspect that she has some experience when it comes to either stripping, dancing or sexing.

Meanwhile in the rest of the house, two of the contestants Hottie and New York were competing for the CRAZIEST BITCH in the house award. Hottie is convinced that she is going to win. She believes in herself entirely and lies all the time. She said her waist measures 26 inches when it's pretty obvious it's at least 36. She said her hair is all natural even though you can plainly see that her weave is growing out. She also walks around in the most outlandish outfits, so that her DOUBLE D's are always, always on display. She's already redecorating the house - in her mind because she is so sure of her win.
If you want a good laugh go to her website.

New York on the other hand is so insecure and needy and dramatic and manages to stand out as the one who needs attention in a house full of women on a show for the attention. She feels left out of everything because basically everyone leaves her behind. The other women in the house just don't like her. New York and Hottie had an argument in the kitchen because Hottie was talking to Red Oyster about New York while she was sitting right there, at the same counter, eating her steak. The two of them really got into it. Each one displaying more bravado than the other until it escalated so high Hottie left the room. But New York should be insecure because she doesn't have a website.

The elimination ceremony - wow. Red Oyster eliminated herself because of a family emergency. When Hottie tried to console her by saying she went through something similar, Red Oyster told her "shut up bitch, don't make this about you." New York wanted to know if she was going to get a clock. Flav told her that if she was, she was and if she wasn't, she wasn't - that it didn't matter anyway because Red Oyster was out. (Red was added to her nickname because she wears red everyday.)

The elimination ceremony. Let me explain. If you know what time it is, you get the clock with your picture on it. If you don't know what time it is, you don't.

January 29, 2006


Yesterday we celebrated my nephew's second birthday. It was a nice size crowd. My sister-in-law hired Matt the Music Guy from my nephew's day care as the entertainment for the party and he was great. He performed for about 45 minutes and he did something different every minute. He had a lot of energy and the children just loved him. My cousin's four year old was laughing so hard he made us all laugh. My nephew had the greatest time. He was right up front with Matt the Music Guy, dancing and strumming Matt's guitar. We all had a great time watching him. You could see the little girl to the left is utterly mesmerized. My best pictures are on my brother's camera and video camera. I shot half of Matt's show before the video camera ran out and then I switched my brother's digital camera. Before I knew it the show was almost over and I switched over to my camera. Here is a picture of my nephew with Matt the Music Guy. Both of them had so much energy it was hard to get a clean shot. Actually it was my camera, I didn't have the flash set so . . . not to worry my cousin Andrea got the better shot.

Speaking of my cousin Andrea, I got to hang out with her eight-year-old daughter and her four-year-old son. They are just great. Rebecca and I had a lengthy conversation about princesses. It was Rebecca who taught me last night that there are 7 original princesses and she listed them. When I asked her who her favorite princess was she was so overwhelmed. It was just too hard to choose. So we switched to something else - like favorite movie, favorite book, and eventually narrowed our princess choice to favorite blond princess (Cinderella). It was great. Scotty and I had a wonderful conversation about his imaginary friends and the things that scare him in the dark and he gave me lots and lots of hugs. My cousin told me that when asked about yesterday, Scotty said that "Valerie is my new best friend." When asked why, he replied it was because I cuddled with him. Yeah. They are great kids.

Speaking of birthday cake, Ethan's birthday cake was both beautiful and delicious. My sister-in-law picked up at Stop and Shop. It was a yummy, spongy yellow cake with chocolate pudding filling and thick, rich buttercream.

And my nephew just loved it. Here he is eating and enjoying his birthday cake.

January 28, 2006

What Was He Thinking

Michael Jackson was shopping covered from head to toe in an abaya, which is apparently traditional garb for Arab women - in Bahrain. He has been visiting as a guest of the Bahrain royal family since he was acquitted of child molestation in June. But if he was trying to hide it didn't work. And here is why I think it didn't work.

The children's heads were also covered with scarves. Now. . .if Michael Jackson had gone with the children and only he was disguised, people would have thought his three towheaded children were out with their nanny - most likely. But since his children were also wearing what is now the most recognizable disguise on God's green earth, they were spotted.

He is just weird and amazingly, I'm not shocked by this behavior. As a matter of fact, nothing seems more natural to me now than Michael Jackson dressing like the women being oppressed in most Arabic nations. I was watching a show last night on VH1 called "The Best Week Ever" and a comedian commented that the only thing that would surprise him about Michael Jackson at this point would be if he went back to being black. I thought that was pretty funny and pretty accurate. I don't think anybody is really surprised by this strange display.

January 25, 2006

Charles P. Crayola

I woke up this morning convinced that Crayola crayons were invented by Charles P. Crayola. Why? Because I imagined that I'd met Mr. Crayola and he asked me to help him put on a puppet show for children at the combination school/ apartment building/shopping mall I concocted for last night's dream. My friends couldn't believe it and they were envious. And did I mention that they couldn't believe it. But alas, I couldn't find Mr. Crayola again to prove to my friends that I'd met him.

Somehow the dream evolved into something different, something involving a king that could hide himself in the guise of a silver gorilla. And the school/building/mall evolved into a 300 year old New York mansion with a vivid history and secret passages on Park Avenue and Washington Square. That's right. That address doesn't exist. But the world that existed beneath the city in my dream sure did seem real.

Isn't sleeping great?

January 24, 2006

Big Mommas House 2

I was relaxing into my Tuesday night routine of surfing blogs and watching American Idol when all of a sudden a commercial came on the air that stopped me dead in my tracks. It was a promo for Big Momma's House 2 starring Martin Lawrence and his fat suit. This latest development in cheezy entertainment leads me to wonder:

Was the first movie REALLY so successful that there needed to be a sequel? Perhaps there was just so much story to tell that it just couldn't go untold any longer. How many chances is Hollywood going to give Martin Lawrence? Aren't there other young, funny black actors who would like a chance at a leading role? Does Hollywood always have to gamble on Martin Lawrence? What is his appeal? Who is his audience? Why does he keep getting work?

Flying High Now

The flu virus is gone. I feel better than I have in days. Last night my appetite came back in a BIG WAY so I went with Jon to a local diner and ordered . . . are you ready for this . . . steak and eggs!!! And I ate everything but the fat. Even better, I woke up with an appetite. And that is how I know I'm feeling better.

Meanwhile, I couldn't sleep last night. It was 15 minutes down, bad dream, wake up. The same cycle all night. I dreamt of odd houses that Jon and I bought and wanted to move into but couldn't because the residents wouldn't leave. I varied that dream about 50 times last night. They say when you dream about houses, you're dreaming about your own mind. and that different parts of the house represent different parts of your conscience. Well, I would like someone to tell me what part of my mind the baby sheep in the bathtub represents. In my dream, I looked that sweet little baby sheep in the eyes and gently removed it from the tub so I could bathe but alas there were other obstacles getting in my way of bathing. There was something in the drain, something moving, something gross. What is that? and poof . . . the last bad dream of the rough night ended.

Maybe it's as simple as being bored just laying around for the last four days. If I don't entertain my brain it comes up with its own forms of entertainment and none of them good for sleeping.

January 23, 2006

Flavor of Love

My new favorite show at the moment is Flavor of Love a dating program with Flavor Flav as the prize bachelor for 20 publicity starved women.

The show has all the elements that make a reality TV show special.
aThe women all live in the same house with Flav to insure rivalry and cat fights.
aThey (most of them) all wear incredibly slutty and inappropriate outfits.
aThey all claim to be absolutely in love with Flav and all claim to have his best interests at heart.

On the latest episode, the remaining 8 contestants went to church with Flavor Flav and his mom. After church the women went to tea with Mother Flav where they each had a private moment with her and explained why they were better suited for Flav than the other women in the room. Later in the day, they all had to prepare fried chicken. The winner of the cooking contest had a private dinner with the Flavs.

Most of the women prepared the chicken just fine. Hottie, a moniker given to her by Flav , clearly has no experience at all in a kitchen because she took her chicken, shoved carrots in it, covered it with spaghetti and marshmallows, put it in the microwave for 3 minutes and claimed it as an expression of her absolute love for Flavor Flav. Yet, somehow at the end of the show she WAS NOT ELIMINATED. That speaks largely to the power of her THIRTY-FOUR DOUBLE D's. The woman is CRAZY and BUSTY.

The woman who won the contest, Hoops, seems like a pretty sweet, nice, genuine person. It also doesn't hurt that she bears a striking resemblance to Stacy Dash of Clueless fame. I can't stop watching this show. I predict that Flavor Flav will pick the person least suited to him because he'll go for looks over substance.

In the end, the woman who was not given a clock at the end of the show, was SWEETIE. Sweetie had a private date with Flavor Flav in the previous episode and told him it would take at least 3 weeks before he could kiss her. He openly expressed his disappointment. So in this episode when he had some alone time with her, she was more aggressive - a complete 180 from last week's behavior making Flav suspicious. Then on top of that, Flav's mom told Flav that she seemed a little desperate in her one on one with her at tea time. Flav's mom should look out for her boy a little better because while Sweetie may have been confused she's not psychotic like Hottie and New York.

She did stick up for herself. Because Flav told her "he wasn't feelin' her". And while I don't know what that means, it meants something to Sweetie who argued that "she was feelin' him" and he didn't know what he was talking about. She also tried to take a couple of girls down with her. He clearly thought that her outburst was bad behavior but so is this entire show. So in the end Teh Flavor of Love continues to hold my attention.

Still Gripping

While I am feeling better, I'm still not feeling one hundred percent. Once I get my appetite back, I'll know this flu virus has left my body. Even when I was a kid, I don't remember ever being that sick. Usually, childhood sickness for me manifested itself in the form of an occasional stomach virus - 5 to 6 hours of throwing up meals and eventually bile (yuck) - but outside of that I remember being a pretty healthy specimen. If it weren't for the viruses, I would have had a 100% attendance record.

January 21, 2006

The Grip

I think I have the flu. About an hour ago I was shaking violently with chills. My temperature, 102 at the time is coming down and I feel hotter than is comfortable. My back and neck are extremely achy. My right ear hurts and I've got the beginnings of a sore throat. My lips are dry and cracked even though I have been drinking water all day, so much so, that I'm going to the bathroom about every 20 minutes. Oh - and my head hurts and I'm out of Theraflu.

What do you think?

Is it the flu?

I've never had shakes like that before. It was pretty scary.

January 19, 2006

In Entertainment

Shatner Crosses Final Frontier of Decency
Did you know that William Shatner auctioned off a kidney stone? YUCK!!! He donated the $25,000 he earned from the unusual transaction to HABITAT FOR HUMANITY. I was informed by a friend that the stone was purchased by a company that plans on reproducing copies of the stone and selling them - I'm not quite sure where. The same company that bought his kidney stone also owns that grilled cheese sandwich that looked like the Virgin Mary.

If Life is Such a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing with the Pitts?
Brad Pitt is now officially the father of Angelina's adopted children and responsible for fathering the bun in her over. He moves pretty fast. I guess he REALLY, REALLY wanted to be somebody's daddy. Zahara and Maddox now sport the last name Jolie-Pitt. Even though the children have a combined last name, Brad and Angelina express no plans to officially tie the knot. I don't know why I'm so interested in this, but I am. It's probably because they are extraordinarily rich, famous and good looking.

She's My Sister/She's My Daughter
There's a good chance that Dallas Bryce Howard will be playing Spiderman's love interest Gwen Stacy in Spiderman 3, which shouldn't really be happening because the Green Goblin kills her early in the series and the Green Goblin is already dead as of the first Spiderman movie, unless the son of the Green Goblin takes over where his father left off as the director hinted at the end of Spiderman 2. I know that's a run on sentence but if I were James Joyce writing about Dallas Bryce Howard, you would think it was brilliant. She's very pretty but Dallas Bryce Howard looks so much like her father Ron Howard that I honestly have a hard time watching her in romantic scenes. Does anyone else have this problem? Well if you don't, let me help you. Picture Toby Maguire as Spiderman making out with Ron Howard as Gwen Stacy.

January 18, 2006

Zoning With Celebrities

I was in the TV zone tonight - first with American Idol season five, then with Skating with Celebrities.

Wow. Even in season five, delusional people all over the country are still auditioning for A.I. - giving it their all and sucking. I still admire the people who gather the courage to stand up in front of those three discerning judges and wonder why so many people who can't sing think they can. Just because someone might like singing doesn't mean they can. I like singing and when I sing I think I sound great but I don't. I learned that a long time ago, listening to myself sing on tape. American Idol continues to entertain.

Skating with Celebrities was a surprise. I didn't know it was coming. lt was fascinating. David Coulier from Full House was paired with Nancy Kerrigan. Todd Bridges from Different Strokes was paired with Jenni Menno and he did a great job. Good for him. He's had so much bad press in his life, I hope this turns out to be a good experience for him. The best surprise was seeing Bruce Jenner skating with Tai Babilonia. I still remember the upset of Tai and Randy not being able to skate in the 1980 olympics.

Actually, I haven't been this excited about the sport of figure skating in a long time. Not even in the last winter olympics.

January 17, 2006

Coca Cola

If Coca Cola stopped advertising their soda would you stop drinking it?

Back To Reality

Well. The three day weekend is over and it's back to work. We had such a lovely visit. Jon and I visited Jon's parents upstate. Jon grew up in this charming house.
Childhood home of JB

This is the creek that runs behind the above house. Isn't it idyllic?

We all went bowling. We really couldn't get any good pictures inside the bowling alley so here is the next best thing.
Bowling Bowl

We had lunch at Hairy Tony's. There is an owner named Tony but I can't tell you whether or not he is hairy. I had the best restaurant salad I've ever had in a restaurant at Hairy Tony's. It was a straightforward pile of lettuce with hints of tomato and cucumber. I have a salad philosophy and that is that the salad should be mostly lettuce - any lettuce except iceberg that is.
Hairy Tony's

Cortland has a lot of character. Here is Jon in front of one of the city's landmark buildings.
Jon in Cortland

We were sorry the weekend had to end. We had a lovely time and when you are enjoying your time off, there never seems to be enough. But like all good things, our visit had to come to an end. For part of our ride home back to Queens, Jon and I were escorted by this beautiful sunset.

January 16, 2006

Just Another Monday


Jon and I took advantage of a three day weekend to visit our Cortland parents. We left on Saturday night after Jon got out of work. We rented a car so we could drive up and were not troubled by the rainy conditions. However, at some point in New Jersey while driving on 80, the rain turned into freezing rain and within an hour driving conditions went from slightly challenging to virtually impossible.

Our windshield wipers couldn't keep up with the teeming slush and snowy ice kept coming at us like angry daggers making it impossible to see beyond the piece of road revealed by our mediocre headlights. Around Stanhope, we absolutely had to pull in somewhere to stay over night but it took us two hours to find a place which we probably could have found in two minutes had the conditions been better. Around midnight, we finally found the Marriott Residence Inn in Mt. Olive, NJ. Our room was more like a studio apartment than a hotel room. There was a kitchen, a small living area and a beautiful queen size bed and everything was clean, clean, clean. Of course, as soon as we settled in and looked at the window, we saw the snow had stopped.

No matter though. The roads were a mess and we knew by morning the snowplows and salt trucks would have had their way with the angry snow and cleared our way to Cortland where we are now, enjoying a wonderful visit. We left around 9 and pulled into the Blackwell driveway around 12:30.

We visited all day yesterday and Jon's parents finally had an opportunity to look at the wedding picture proofs. Today - well, I'm not quite sure what's happening today. Outside, it's cold but sunny and Jon's mom and I are probably going to head on over to Price Chopper to do some grocery shopping. As of 9:30 am, Jon is still sleeping.

January 14, 2006

The Half-Ton Man

I just watched a special on the Discovery Health channel about a man that weight 1,000 pounds - it documents his struggle to loose weight. Wow. He was really heavy. It was pretty sad but by the end of the show which covered 6 months of his life, he'd lost over 500 pounds so it had a happy ending.

110 over 70

Had a checkup Wednesday morning - first one in years - and my blood pressure was beautiful. Working out has been working out. Last time I had it checked it was 120/80 not that that's bad but 110/70 is even better. Turns out that's normal for my mother and that side of my family.

This morning, I had blood drawn for tests at a lab in Manhattan. This afternoon I had a cleaning at the dentist.

I used to dread the whirr of the dentist's drill. Now I dread the whistling whine of the water tool that the hygienist uses to blast a fine stream of water under my gum line for cleanings. I just don't like that sound. It may be hard to believe but I prefer when the hygienist uses the scrapy tool to clean my tooth.

January 13, 2006

Freckles are Nature's Tattoo

Applying my facial this morning, I took a close look at my skin. I do this often because I'm fair and I have to be on the look out for any abnormalities that might be cancer.

There used to be a little red bump beneath my eye which I got rid of using a home micro-dermabrasion kit and a facial mask with alpha hydroxy. The focus of both those treatments is to remove top layers of dead skin so fresher skin can rise to the surface. I looked for it this morning and the spot just isn't there. Those treatments really did work. I am amazed and please that this blemish is gone. It wasn't anything really that anyone other than my mother would have noticed but it did annoy me.

What my skin treatments can't get rid of are my freckles. Not that I want to but I find it curious that freckles run so deep through the many layers of your skin. Why don't they go away? Can they be removed need be? How deep do they actually go?

For an explanation of what freckles are you can click this link to wikipedia. It explains that freckles fade in winter months but they don't disappear. They are always with me - making sure that my face remains unique. No one will ever have freckles exactly like mine - although I am hoping for a freckly faced kid. I don't think there is anything cuter than a little kid with big freckles across his/her nose.

January 11, 2006

The Funniest Blonde Joke Ever

Usually I don't appreciate humor that makes fun of people's intelligence, but every now and then I come across a joke that makes me laugh in spite of its malicious intent.

This is one of the funniest blonde jokes I've ever read.

Let me know what you think.

January 10, 2006

Val's Eye

Check out my new site where I talk about popular culture.

I'm calling it Val's Eye. Kind of like bull's eye. . . eventually, I'll post a bull's eye with my cliche eye in the center.

Elbow Room

Even when the subway isn't crowded it still feels crowded. Why? Because any time a woman sits next to me on the train, I have to lean over to the side to make room for her wildly flailing elbow. I wonder if I fidget that much. Why are women always fidgeting? What is in that bag that they need to get at the moment their behinds hit the seat?

By the way, I'm ALWAYS mindful of my elbows. It comes from sitting down to eat with a large family. When eating at a table with a big family, you always need to make sure you kept your elbows in lest someone say to you "Flying somewhere?"

Elbows are pointy and dangerous and if you're sitting next to me in the subway, please keep yours away from me.

January 09, 2006

Let the Games Begin

Week 2 of 2006 has officially begun and I'm sure we couldn't be more thrilled. Waking up this Monday morning brings us all one day closer to death. The subway was full of the usual shuffling commuters, all with that I-can't-believe-it's-Monday 10,000 yard stare. By the look on everyone's faces I could tell that I'm not the only one who had trouble sleeping last night. I know a few people who find it challenging to get a good night's sleep before the work week begins.

Saturday was truly a lazy day. I did go to the gym, I did play a few games of Scrabble Online. But other than that I chilled out, surfed the internet, napped and watched the movie Alexander and then watched Wedding Crashers later in the evening with Jon. I was going to cook but felt like dragging the lazy feeling into the evening. Jon indulged me and took me to my favorite Japanese place.

I went to the supermarket yesterday but didn't enjoy the shopping as much as I usually do. Usually I find the supermarket relaxing, walking rhythmically up and down the aisles looking at the familiar products reassuringly in same place as the last time I went and the time I went before that. But this time it was too crowded. It seemed like someone always wanted to be standing where I was standing. Either I was in their way or they were in mine.

I did make a couple of good meals. First, I made a vegetable soup with a giant potato, carrots, celery, and cherry tomatoes. I added bouillon cubes, cumin, ground red pepper, salt and pepper. In the blender I added 1/4 cup of butter and a tablespoon of heavy cream. The soup turned out better than I expected. I added the cumin because I saw a tip on a cooking show that said because cumin and carrots are in the same family they complement each other well. The soup was warming and comforting with a little spicy kick from the tobasco sauce I added when everything was boiling together.

Before I set up the soup to boil, I started preparing our evening meal by pureeing a red bell pepper together with a vinaigrette to use as a marinade on a London Broil. I left that covered in the fridge for three hours. I seared that on my handy dandy grill pan for 10 minutes and finished it off under the broiler for 5 minutes. The meat was just perfect, a little bit pink. That was served with a beautiful green salad that I had made with some great fresh romaine I found at our local green grocer.

I really do enjoy cooking.

January 06, 2006

51 Weeks Left

The first work week of 2006 has come to an end. Wahoo!!! Isn't it amazing how a four day work week can feel like it lasted 6 days? I agree. But now the weekend is here and freetime is ours again. I will use my freetime constructively - working out, cleaning up, writing essays and cooking meals.

I'm starting a new site where I essay about popular culture. I want to separate the essays I've already written on pop culture related items from my current personal blog and move them to the new one. Somehow, keeping those topics separate has a new appeal. Maybe I'm just getting more verbose in my advancing years. Or maybe I feel like I'm never really writing about anything.

My writings tend to be aimless, wandering and Valcentric.

Anyway, I'm glad the week is over so I can do all of the above.

January 04, 2006


I've been giving David Lee Roth's radio program a chance. The segment I caught yesterday was part of an interview Roth conducted with his uncle Manny - who influenced Diamond Dave's decision to become a rockstar. Apparently he owned venues where a lot of famous acts either played or got there starts in the '60s. But listening to him talk was like listening to a tale as told by Grandpa Simpson. Granted the stories were interesting but he was not a good story teller. It was kind of dull and he just let him ramble on as if his uncle were the most interesting person in the world. It didn't seem like a good first show to me.

This morning I tuned in and he was discussing gun control. He talked about working as an EMT in New York City and how he regulary practices shooting guns. He doesn't quite fit the profile of a rock star. He is Jewish and comes from a somewhat stabile life. He was in the boy scouts, had decent opportunities and not a lot to rebel against. But he's pretty smart and I'm going to continue giving his show a chance. Hopefully he'll work out the kinks and Howard Stern fans will stop calling in to the show to insult him.

The way the show is right now, you'd think you were listening to a talk radio program on AM radio which is not quite what I want during the morning drive. I don't know what can be to improve the show. He's got other people on the show with him and the nervous laughter in the background could stop. That would improve the show for me. I'm not quite sure who they are but they laugh nervously after almost everything. Not necessary. Let people decide for themselves whether something is funny or not.

January 03, 2006

Long Weekend

The first long weekend of 2006 is over and I'm headed back to work.

The New Year's celebration marks the beginning of the first full year I'll spend as the wife of someone very, very special and that's wonderful.

2005 was a very good year but I have a feeling 2006 will be even better.

January 02, 2006

Happy 2006

Happy New Year!! We celebrated the holiday with four good friends at our apartment. We celebrated until 4 in the morning. Saturday afternoon, I roasted and a chicken and used my new food processor to make four different salads to be served as side dishes. It took all day Sunday to recover and I think some of today will be dedicated to shaking off the celebration.

For those of you that don't know, my husband and I live in New York City, in Queens to be exact. For some of you who don't live in New York City you may wondering why we would spend New Year's Eve at home when we live so close to Times Square. Perhaps you've been watching Dick Clark's New Year's program for years and think that it looks like an exciting place to be. Well, if you're like me and you don't like crowds Times Square is the last place you want to be on New Year's Eve.

I was there one time on Dec 31. One year, I had a great time part-time job working in various Broadway theaters. When I got to Times Square that evening at 7pm to get to the theater, Times Square was eerily empty. There was no car or people traffic. Usually inside a theater when you're standing in the back- the part of the theater closest to the street - you can hear the muted sounds of the NYC hustle and bustle. That evening, you could hear nothing outside. When it was quiet in the theater it was dead silent. The quiet on 44th street was misleading. I thought when I walked out of the theater it would be easy to make my way down town to where I was meeting people for a New Year's eve bar crawl.

But when the show let out and I walked out on to 44th Street I looked to my left toward Broadway proper where mobs and mobs of people were crowded together waiting to celebrate. So instead, I walked to my right toward 8th Avenue where I would catch the subway. There were just as many people crowding there around giant monitors that were set up so people that weren't in Times Square could see the ball drop. I tried make my way to Port Authority so I could get downstairs to the subway station but alas the entrances to the stations were closed.

At that point I was freaking out. I couldn't see in front of me because there were so many people, so I stopped for a moment to catch breath and regroup, when all of a sudden I got sideswiped by a big horse's ass. Throughout the crowd, cops on horses were providing crowd control. That hurt but the cop didn't seem at all sympathetic. Truth be told, he probably didn't even notice what had happened.

Eventually I found my way up to 45th and walked further west to 9th Avenue where I found a cab immediately. I went downtown and spent New Year's eve with some friends I'd made from the job I had at that time.

Being in Times Square on New Year's eve is not my idea of fun. Besides that dropping ball looks about as big as thimble from Broadway. You see it better on televisions. But if you like ridiculous crowds then you'll probably enjoy it. According to the Times Square Alliance 750,000 revellers showed up for this year's celebration. Most people I know feel clautrophobic in situations like that. For me, it's too much like be buried alive which makes it an irrational fear.