Thursday, November 30, 2006

You better have my cheese

the title for this post is from this trick daddy song. (warning: explicit lyrics -- momgo, dadgo -- i'm talking to you) it's got some pretty awesome rhymes. here's an example of a few:

J to the Dot
I make shit hot
I don't even really wanna hear what you got
Just sign me right when I come for my cheese

the point i am making is that trick daddy has somehow summed up how i feel about cheese and i am impressed that he feels so deeply about this cherished dairy product that he expresses his love for it in song. (i'm sure some of you would make the argument that he is, in fact, not talking about cheese in the most wonderful outcome of an udder but rather money. but i think trick daddy, deep down, truly loves cheese and this his ode. not benjamins. cheese.)

sweatpantsmom's daughter writes about her love of cheese brilliantly here. read it. seriously. it's hilarious. she is clearly a prodigy and will someday hold a position of great power and influence. or, at the very least, poet laureate of the united states.

i love cheese. almost all cheese. i'll admit there are some cheeses that lean to the pungent that i have a hard time with and there are some that i can only enjoy in small amounts (intense blues, sottocenere) but the majority of cheeses i love. in a deep, religious and profound way.

cow's milk? delicious.
goat's milk? would love to!
fresh mozzarella? yes.
brie? sure, why not.
manchego? i thought you'd never ask.
halloumi? let's spice things up.
drunken goat? i'm wasted just thinking about it.
parmesean? parma-yes!
spanish, french, italian, vermont, wisconsin, mexican? any and all.

if i go to some fancy pants restaurant i want dessert and the cheese plate. they bring it out with that quince paste, apricots, figs and so on. . .heaven.

so why am i writing about my unwavering commitment to cheese? for the last 2 years, for reasons i think you can decipher without me going into detail, rogray has been trying to convince me that i am lactose intolerant. oh god. whenever he says those words it's like he's calling my mother a whore while strangling our cat while telling me that bunnies are evil and barak obama is actually a neo-con. in a word, it makes me feel sick and depressed. so i look at him like he's just plunged a knife deep into my heart and is now twisting it around and as my eyes fill with tears i ask him, "why would you say something like that?"

not that i'm being dramatic.

i recently went through a period of cutting back on my cheese intake and the end result is that i fear rogray may be right. but i'll never tell him that. it's the kind of confession i'll only make in hushed tones to friends i can trust when i think rogray isn't in earshot. why am i so secretive about my fear? because it would be a break-up i don't think i could bear. what would life be like without my beloved cheese? and if i am lactose intolerant like he claims then why do i have no problem with yogurt?

and when he reads this and asks me about it i'll convince him that he must be crazy because i am NOT lactose intolerant and that i am worried about him and maybe he should see some kind of doctor if he is dreaming up stuff he saw on the internet.

Flying saucers, levitation, yo! I could do that.

courtesy of huffington post this a.m. i stumbled across this little tidbit about scientists succeeding in levitating small bugs. An ant, a ladybug and a spider.

at the end of the article is a video of some acoustic levitation done by some genius at NASA -- and i'm not being sarcastic when i say genius. i mean it. he probably is. the video is awesome. not because he gets 4 balls to levitate but because of the cool 80's style effects they use -- because it was actually the 80s.

my question is this. they're probably spending millions of dollars to research this. which is fine. but i saw a tv show where david blaine levitated and couldn't they just ask him how he does it? i know a lot of people say he isn't a magician but don't you think it took some magic to convince us he actually is one simply by doing stupid stunts like living under water, freezing himself in a block of ice and most recently spinning in a gyroscope for 2 days for target? (i can just see the ceo of target being so insanely excited about the "hipness" of the stunt. you know that ceo was all "we have david blaine in a gyroscope for 2 days in times square to kick off the holidays. wal-mart just has jessica simpson in a sexy mrs. santa outfit moaning about how all she wants for christmas is some dignity. we are so cool!!")

all this is to say -- if levitation is something we can already do where are the scientists working on teleportation? because that would make my commute much more bearable.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

and i go at sleepy time. . .

i am at work. i am so bored. and so sleepy. sleepy to the point of wondering if i can fall asleep leaning my head on my hand while facing the computer so no one will know i'm sleeping when they walk by the cube -- they'll just think i'm staring intently at the calendar on the screen.

when we were in l.a. and i was working at big nameless financial company i could go to the quiet room and snooze for 20 minutes and then come back to work feeling refreshed and awake.

i'm so sleepy i don't even have anything to say really -- i'm only posting something so i can stay awake. and this isn't because i didn't get enough sleep last night -- i got almost 8 hours. i wonder what would happen if i started typing with my eyes closed? i'm going to try it and whatever happens happens.

ok so i', typing with my eyes closed and wondering if what i;m typunbg makes any sense. iy's nice to type with my eyes closed so i can get some mych needed shuteye.

ok how's that go" ok openingh eyes.

wow!! not too bad -- actually pretty damn impressive. i mean that's probably about on par with my typing when my eyes are open. maybe i should type with my eyes closed more often.

let's try again.

i am so tired. why can'y i take a nao.

ok -- not as good -- but not horrible.

maybe you guys should try this too -- see how well you do.

WGC #11

i know we are heavy on the whatcha got cookin? series and as momgo told me "your blog is boring. it's only about rogray's cooking!" just hang on -- we have 19 more to go and when it's over i promise i will reach a new level of boring as i struggle to find something of interest to blog about. . .

also, i am sad to say that there are no pictures of wgc #11 as i am under the weather and was so spacey and sleepy that i forgot to take out the old camera. my apologies.

last night was a good weeknight dinner. . .whole wheat rotini with steamed broccoli, chicken sausage with truffles, and olives. rogray's starting to get muy confident in the kitchen. you know how i can tell? the olives weren't part of the recipe. wgc #5 (that's right, i just linked to myself. it's like when people say "i'm quoting myself when i say" only with the internets) had olives in it and rogray knew that was good and so he decided to get a little wacky -- and you know what? it worked! the olives added some much needed kick to it. so not only is he not a stress case when he cooks -- but he's improvising.

i am really excited for friday's dinner and hopefully i'll be done with my cold by then. i won't tell you what it is but it involves making a certain salad that is infamous in my family. . .

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

smells like teen spirit

this week in temping i am working in the ceo's office of a national chain that sells soaps and candles to people for too much money -- the kind of place that when you walk into one of their stores you instantly get a headache from all of the overly scented melon, berry, mango, cocoa peppermint hand soap, body washes, lotions and oils that line the shelves. there's a 1 in 2 chance you can guess which place it is.

anyway, yesterday -- my first day here -- was crazy. i actually had work to do and most of it involved getting the ceo a variety of decaffeinated beverages and summoning car services (suv only!!). at one point i asked him if he was ready for his next meeting and he told me to ask someone else if they were ready and "don't bother me with this." awesome. this man in charge of convincing us that women should smell like an orchard just happens to be the kind of ceo who adores himself. so much so that he doesn't have a picture of his wife or children in his office (which i know for a fact exist) -- but rather a professionally done, wall size, photo montage of himself taken by some photographer of standing.

i don't mean pictures of him skiing, cooking, at work, at play -- i mean a photo shoot resulting in a montage of moments where he experiences a variety of emotions: joy, calm, thoughtfulness, disillusionment and finally confusion as he realizes he smells like he just emerged from a bath of vanilla, sage, lemon, strawberry scented salts and, contrary to what he tries to tell us, it does not smell good.

if i thought i could take a picture of it and post it without risking the .00001% chance of getting caught, sued, and banned from working in the pseudo-luxury sector again (oh the shame!), i would do it. let's just say he's not as attractive as he thinks. . .

WGC #9 & 10!! (gobble gobble edition)

i don't know about you guys but at one point during thanksgiving i was so full i thought i was going to die. seriously.

we went to rogray's sister's on the upper east side around 11:30am to begin the festivities. the babies were taking their nap so we all just hung out waiting for his dad, step mom, and grandfather to arrive. we decided to start eating. now what should we start with? how about rogray's now famous spinach artichoke dip?


i love spinach artichoke dip. it is a weakness of mine. if ever i am forced to eat at a place like this or this the only thing i will want is spinach artichoke dip. we've coined this t.g.i.rogray and it was a hit. about half an hour later it looked like this:

the big hit this thing was so popular that rogray has to make it at the twins' b-day party next weekend, our chrismukkah party in 2 weekends and again at christmas at his mom's. i couldn't be happier.

rogray's bro-in-law makes amazing cuba libre's: the drinkman

so i had one to start the day. when rogray's dad and step-mom showed up with grandpa gray in tow they opted for red wine and antics: let the fun begin

after my cuba libre i discovered this toy. at first i was confused and a bit scared:
elmo say what? but then i realized it was awesome: elmo went potty

while the turkey was finishing rogray and pedro had a moment:
he sits!he reaches!he cries!

and gracie tried to think of other words to say besides no: she'strying to think of a word besides no she couldn't. but she's 2.

the bird finished and while bro-in-law moved it from roaster to cutting board holgray (apparently rogray thinks the middle sister wouldn't like to be called hogray even though i think it's hilarious!) carved it:

the bird holly gets to work

oh, and yes, these people cook their turkey with bacon on top. yummy!

we all settled in with an appropriate family member at the head of the table: gracie is in charge and ate turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce and some weird cabbage, vinegar thing that rogray family loves. i have what they call a "no thank you" portion of it.

after awhile we were ready for pie! holgray made maple pumpkin and rogray made apple cranberry: pumpkinapple

we were very excited to get into the pies: i want pie!

we decided you couldn't compare the two so they both won and when our plates looked like this: all clean

we did some of this: zzzzzrogray zzzzzshaygo zzzzzz

but not for long since the babies wanted to do some of this: baby chaos

and this: babies are crazy

until they found this: what's all this? which led to this:

we love this stuff

this is great

the mess

how can you be mad at this?

it took 4 adults to clean up the mess these 2 little people made. but look at their faces. . .argh! so cute!!

after that the twins were pretty tired so we put them to bed, said goodbye to the parental units, cleaned up and hopped the train home. it was a very successful day of thanks.

but what was rogray's 10th cooking endeavor you ask? why. . .turkey tetrazzini of course!!!

turkey tetrazzini!

ok. let me just say that i don't really like turkey. and i never thought i liked turkey tetrazzini. until rogray made it! he's a third of the way through his cooking project and it's pretty amazing how you can really see (and taste) the difference. he doesn't get stressed out while he's cooking anymore and when the cream sauce looked a bit thin he threw in more flour to thicken it -- without the guidance of the recipe!! now that's what i call cooking.

Monday, November 27, 2006


so this article popped up today. . .

if he runs, will he win?

if he runs and i volunteer on the campaign can i meet him?

if i meet him will he and i become besties?

once i upload our pics from thanksgiving there will be a mega post. . .

Wednesday, November 22, 2006



so this is our cat: harper. for some reason when miss n met her she called her parnell and it somehow ended up sticking as a middle name as did petunia, koogs' addition. she looks innocent enough but beware. . .this bitch has claws and she's not afraid to use them. por ejemplo:

when rogray and i were making plans to move across the country back to nyc we were trying to figure out how to transport harper -- at first the plan involved driving with her across the country, sneaking her into hotel rooms and putting ice packs in her carrier so she wouldn't overheat -- we decided that was too difficult and were about to choose the more expensive option of having rogray fly back with her the weekend before we left and deposit her at koogs' (her second mommy, really) and then rogray would fly back to drive with me. crazy? yes, but it seemed to to make sense at the time. then mateo told me he was coming to l.a. for work the week before we left and valiantly agreed to fly back with harper and take her to koogs' himself.

the day arrives and amidst many warnings of her reputation as a crazy, homicidal, killer feline, mateo assures me all will be well, that he "loves cats and not to worry." so i pump her up full of kitty tranquilizers and send her to the airport with an idealistic mateo at the wheel of his snazzy rental car. if only he had heeded my stern warnings.

since mateo was not landing in nyc until midnight and koogs teaches the future of america he had to keep harper with him until the next day when he could take her over at a more reasonable hour. so around the time that harper should have been snuggling into her old friend's lap i gave a call to see how things were going. that is when i found out from koogs that things were not going well and i should call mateo. i do and it's awful. not only can i hear her meowing and growling in the background but i can here a broken spirit in mateo's voice. he sounds like he has been through a battle between good and evil and evil is winning. i tell him to steady himself, throw a blanket over her and shove her into her carrier no matter what. he says he's tried it and i say do it again -- i tell him how there have been times when i've had to straddle her and pin her down to clip her claws or grab her by the tail to get her into the carrier and that she won't get hurt and that she can't actually murder him -- she just sounds like she can.

we hang up and i wait. a few minutes pass and he calls and sounds worse than he did before. at this point harper parnell petunia is hiding under a table in his living room snarling at him like what'sherface in the exorcist. i call koogs and ask her to go over there for back-up. she kindly agrees and goes over with her head held high and optimistic that she possesses the magic touch to calm harper and get her to willingly walk into her carrier.

cut to something like an hour and 30 minutes later (!!!!) and i still haven't heard from either of them so i call and now koogs sounds like she has been broken by this 5 pound ball of fur. apparently they have spent the last hour with harper in the closet, koogs sitting outside of it meditating only to have harper come out and allow koogs to pet her while simultaneously growling at her. and now harper is huddled in a corner and koogs can't get near her and neither can mateo.

at this point harper has been freaking out for something like 4 hours and mateo has been on the brink of an opera style meltdown for at least 3 of those and koogs has joined him in half that time and i am feeling horrible that this has taken such a disastrous turn. so i finally tell them to just grab her, stick her in the carrier, put the carrier on it's end so she can't run out, zip it shut and be done with it. i tell them that they can do this. that no matter what sound she makes she is not actually hurt -- she's just putting on a show. i tell them that rob suggests getting her into the bathroom so she has nowhere to run to, baby, nowhere to hide. (sorry about that musical interlude, it was unavoidable)

somehow mateo rallies and gets her in her carrier in under 5 minutes.

all of this is to say that our cat may be small, she may have the cutest white paws and little nose, but she is a beast that can bring an adult woman who is in charge of 25 8 year-olds every day and an adult man who directs entire plays to their knees. she is a beast.

of course, she's never treated me that way. . .

*photo courtesy miss n's camera phone.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

workin' for the weekend.

hot dog

this is how our busy weekend started: hot dogs!! rogray and i went to lincoln center to see the understudy run-through of this play:

miss n's show

miss n is the understudy for one of the leads and invited us to come watch her in the run-through. we were so excited we took a picture of her name in lights:

her name in lights

basically we got to see a very expensive play for free with fantastic performances. miss n was the best though and i'm not playing favorites -- she was at the top of her game- the part was written for her and why she wasn't just cast is a mystery to me but whatever -- she was funny, smart and beautiful. here she is after the run-through in costume:

the star of the show

see how hot?

saturday we finished cleaning the apartment and our reward was going to mateo's 27th b-day party!! he was celebrating with another friend of his and their friends got together and not only were they great hosts but great chefs too. an action shot:

j makes yummy things

and the spread:

the spread

there were spring rolls, homemade guacamole and salsa, chicken satay with homemade peanut sauce, bruschetta, prosciutto wrapped crudites, some kind of garlic dip, bacon wrapped scallop and shrimp, crab dip, a fancy cheese plate and geo's special ginger kisses which didn't taste like there was any alcohol in them but the pounding in my head sunday morning begged to differ. . .

we had lots of fun:

action shot

but then i couldn't find my cell phone so the evening started to look like this:

oh shaygo here's to parties

rob trying to call my cell phone while mateo gave me the old "oh shaygo" while his roommate ignored the situation completely. but we couldn't find my cell phone because it was hiding under this:

my phone is somewhere under there

after being assured that mateo would definitely find it and assuring that his cookie stash we gave him the stash was safe inside his closet so nobody could partake of mateo's one true passion we decided it was time to leave since we had our own soiree to throw.

Housewarming Brunch!!

we woke up early and i made a bloody mary mix and then we went to park slope to get too many bagels and pick up mo and her hubby so they could help us set up and din't have to cart their homemade banana nut bread and berry muffins on the train.

miss n thought the fritattas i made were tasty:
this is delicious!

while these two were more intrigued by our coffee and bloody marys:
a lovely couple

there was some perusing of my us weekly:
look at this guy

and some general silliness:
jonny g brunch is fun!

some serious chatting:

you went there too? turns out mo and miss n's b-fri, the rock star, went to elementary school together!

the lumberjack came and went:
one last look lumberjack leaving

and at the end of the day when everyone had left and rogray and i did our re-cap we realized that the most remarked upon item at the brunch was not the food, not the company, not the music, or even the apartment but this:

the talk of the party

our light fixture. that we didn't buy. it was the only thing in the apartment when we moved in. and it was all anyone could talk about. so basically the one thing people were the most obsessed with was the one thing rogray and i had nothing to do with. little did i know we had such a gem on our hands.

it was a great brunch. the lawyer brought us a plant which was a nice gift and many brought sweets and cakes to round out the whole meal -- the critic even brought pancake batter because i got paranoid there wouldn't be enough food but we didn't even touch it...but i heard it made a great dinner so it didn't go to waste.

thanks to everyone who came. our house has been officially warmed.

Monday, November 20, 2006

When I Paint My Masterpiece

rogray and i have been in the midst of trying to get our apartment (aka our shit) together. it's a big space by our standards(not to brag but more to make you wonder if your space would be considered bi and therefor make you feel ever so slightly insecure about your own home -- don't feel too bad -- our bathroom sink is missing a leg and the shower drain is clogged so we're not perfect) so we don't want to overfill it but we don't want to leave it empty either.

basically all that is to say that i spend hours on craigslist trying to find us a coffee table, shelves and the like. thanks to all my research on craigslist rogray was able to buy us a bookcase for $15 -- the trick being it was unfinished wood. so one trip to home depot and $54 later i was ready to do my first official home project: paint a bookcase. unfortunately i have no pictures of what it looked like before but i do have pictures of the transformation.

this is me in the act:

notice the use of painter's tape for the delicate edging. take a closer look at the way i grasp the brush to exert maximum control yet have fluidity in my painting style.

blank slate

no shelves-- an example of minimalism and function -- the function being that this was the 3rd and final coat of paint and dry dammit!!! DRY!!

the shelves:


at that angle it looks like my floor is really slanted. . .it's not.

and finally the finished product:
the finished product

take your time. deeply inhale and relish the simplicity, the beauty, form and function mingling together. . .a true piece of art.

ok. not really but i am proud of it. i used primer! i used one can of paint called egyptian nile and another called cottage white because i wanted contrast! an assortment of paint supplies were used including mini rollers and small paintbrushes! i arranged the books with thought and then embellished with chotchkes!

is this the same humble beginning from which martha began?