Monday, November 29, 2004

Surviving Thanksgiving

Major Holiday of the Season #1: Survived

I made Thanksgiving dinner for six of us, but cooked enough to feed 20. I kept telling myself, "everyone needs leftovers" - that combined with the $.17/lb turkey sale and the Italian gene to provide waaay too much food, drove me to cook up thirty-two pounds of turkey (a 13 pounder on Wed and a 19 pounder on Thurs).

I'm not normally a very organized person, but for this shindig, I opted to pull things together early, make lists, create timelines... in other words, I channeled my inner Jenny.

In case you've never pulled together a Thxgvg dinner, here's what I did before the big day...

Shop for stuff
Thaw turkeys
Make Pumpkin Cheesecake
Cook Mrs. Smiths Pumpkin Pie
Make artichoke Dip
Cook turkey #1 (which, btw, was the most delicious, moist, yummy turkey ever - not sure how/why)

And here's my actual list from the day of:

Fear not, the unchecked items went off without a hitch and though I got a little off schedule, we were all sitting down to eat at about 3:30pm. And, needless to say, everyone had PLENTY of leftovers!

Here are family pix from the day.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Bring on the Cheese

It's not new, but it's gaining momentum - dairy appears to be the new low-carb. Drink milk, eat cheese, lose weight. For the past few days I've been having yogurt and milk for breakfast and with lunch and I always find it easy to down some cheese - not sure if my fat is melting away - I'll letcha know more later, like after I gain 5 lbs on Thanksgiving.

The milk marketers are on top of the situation, with their weight loss website -

The cheese marketers haven't used the weight loss spin to their advantage yet, but they certainly do have a nice site with - they even have a Snackulator.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Bono-fide Dream

Saturday night, couldn't sleep, so I turned to my drug of choice - TV. First watched SNL, watched U2 perform, flipped past a Joe Pesci movie over to Gia with Angelina Jolie...the on to Point of No Return in time to catch Bridget Fonda enticing Dermot Mulroney into a kiss using a ravioli... until I finally faded off to sleep at about 4am.

All this worked out well as, in my dream, Bono made an appearance and we had quite a nice kissing session - just nice strong lip to lip kissing. Then Joe Pesci showed up and ruined it.

Next weekend I am going to have a Colin Firth Fest - who was just named one of People's Sexiest Men Alive (use the code GLAMOROUS if needed). I am going to pile up my Netflix queue with CF movies - Pride & Predjudice, Fever Pitch, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Valmont, along with my own, Briget Jones and Love Actually - and hope for some more tv-to-tina dream influence.

All romantic and very sweet, of course.

Monday, November 22, 2004

B-day Pix

I'm finally getting around to posting Jenny's pix from my birthday.

They start with pix from my family pizza party, with Hub, Sher (sis), Mya (niece), Tyler (bebe), Jenny, Gram, Aunt Del, and Deb (stepmom). Most notably, my hammy niece (who has the lovely habit of shoving a finger from each hand waaay up her nose*) and the yummy cake Jenny made.

The pix then switch over to the next day - the kidnapping to Niagara Falls. Note - I didn't know we were going, which is why I look like a hobo, though this doesn't explain why I thought it was ok to go to the mall looking like a hobo.

*In my naivety, I didn't think MY niece would do something so unseemly, so unsophisticated, so disgusting, SO two-years-old... as if I didn't get photographed picking my army green flowered bell bottoms out of my butt at age 5.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


I was a bit worried because a few years back, I took the Death Test and it said I'd die at 36 - so, as you can imagine, I thought I'd have so start staying very far away from busses, pianos being dangled out of buildings and the like.

But I re-took the test and, WHEW, I now have until 67 - not sure what I'm doing differently but I welcome the reprieve.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


Today is my 36th birthday. THIRTY-SIX! Not that I think that's old, I don't. I just think I should be 27. I used to think 21 was the perfect age - I could drink, drive (not in that order), vote, and was done with school... but then I got older, and 25 was nice - I could rent a car on my own... but my mid twenties were mostly boring - not alot of money, not alot of style, hubby worked ALOT so no social life... then I came to work at and for the first time, most everyone else was younger (and hipper) than me... so I caught up... went out alot, began to travel alot, earned more money, learned about design and style (from my stylish Designer friends), found my talent for shopping, and had a blast... even hitting the big 3-0 wasn't painful.

My best and my worst year were one in the same, I was 33. We went to Brasil with Daniela, then later that year went to London, Scotland and Paris with Jenny & Aaron... but that was also the year Mom died.

I still have alot of fun because I have a wonderful husband, loving family, and great friends, but there's now (and will always be) that VERY big void in my life. Birthdays are bittersweet. I love celebrating, but I miss that morning phone call from Mom saying, "at this time {howevermany} years ago, I was giving birth to my beautiful baby daughter"...

So if I could pick an age to freeze at, I think I'd stick with 27. Ask me again when I'm 45 and you might get a different answer.

Monday, November 15, 2004


Yesterday, under the guise of going shopping, Chuck, Jenny, & Aaron took me to Casino Niagara for my birthday.

I thought that Chuck missing the exit toward the mall was too good to be true, yet I held fast to the idea that he may have made his one annual mistake.

Further down the road, I realized that a surprise was being deftly executed. I called them out on it, then began guessing... "are we going to the Jello Museum?"... "are we going to Six Flags?"... "are we going to the Buffalo Zoo?"... "are we going GAMBLING?!!" YESSS!

We played slots, lost, then played blackjack. Chuck and I were doing so well, Aaron got in on the action. Chuck and I were up about $100 bucks at one point after about an hour of play, but in two shakes of a rattlesnakes tail, we were down $15 and called it a day. Aaron left the table a winner, making up for the losses at the slots. All in all, a good gambling day.

The fun evening was capped with dinner at the Hard Rock, a sundae with a sparkler, the servers singing happy birthday. Redemption from last year, "The Incident at Rainforest", when I was denied my "Volcano Spectacle", despite many attempts by Aaron to remedy the situation. I could only handle so many crowds of singing servers walking up to what appeared to be my table yelling "VOLCANO" only to turn at the last second and bring it to the tables next to, behind, over near ours.

It was a great surprise and alot of fun. I'm a lucky girl.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Art by Benny

My brother's friend Benny Coyle is an aspiring artist. Here are some photos from my visit to his house/studio.

He sometimes uses a burning technique with chemicals. He also did an interesting series of portraits of assassinated political figures - MLK Jr., JFK, Ghandi - covered in plexi that had bullet holes in it. They make quite a statement - too much of a statement according to his agent.

Benny's Titanic painting will be part of a nautical-related exhibit in Venice next week (CA, not IT).

Thursday, November 11, 2004

National Treasure

Went to the premiere of National Treasure monday night. It was a fun movie - especially if you like action/adventure or if you're a history buff.

My notorious bad-celebrity-spotting-luck held true. While I did see some celebs (including Olympic athletes), most were not very close. And as I perused the red carpet photos, I realized there were alot that I didn't even get a peek at.

There were a few that might have said "bless you" and wiped their arm had I sneezed - Patrick Swayze (and his brother), Crispin Glover, Jerry Bruckheimer, and Justin Gatlin, the gold medal winner - he seemed very nice.

I saw a few others from a distance, including Nick Cage and Justin Bartha - who steals the show in this movie with his excellent comic timing, IMHO.

Also saw alot of other olympians, including Annia Hatch (the gymnast) who looked as though she'd had a few too many (not that there's anything wrong with that as long as you're not driving - Michael!).

More pix here...

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Viper Room

Saw two good bands at the Viper Room Sunday night - Tyrone Wells and The Gavin Bellour Trio.

The Gavin Bellour Trio rocks an upright bass but much more rock 'n roll than a swing.

Silly Pix

Eddie and I took some silly pictures in the mirror.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Happy Birthday

Oh, and tonight is Eddie's birthday. We celebrated earlier with Chicken Madeira at the Cheesecake Factory and now we're about to head to the Viper Room. This time his friend (a different friend) DID get him on the list. I better not be made to feel like a hobo again.

In honor of the Rock-n-Rollness of the Viper room, I am wearing my original AC/DC concert t-shirt from 1981!

Sunday, November 07, 2004

I love LA, or Not

I love some of it. I enjoy the food - Jamba, In-N-Out, Lola's Mac & Cheese. I enjoy the view of the hills. I enjoy the weather. I definitely enjoy the shopping (helloooo Sephora)! I enjoy the openness and tolerance for alternative lifestyles. I enjoy hanging with my Brother who can make strangers laugh and drives even more "strategically" than me.

I don't enjoy the traffic, the crowds, but especially, I hate the "velvet rope" situation that occurs. I don't like feeling like less of a person because I'm not famous (or slutty).

My Bro asked his friend, who works at the Mondrian hotel, to get us on the list for the Skybar (the pool area turns into a club at night). Well, the friend forgot, so when Eddie and I got there, we were, as he says, "treated like hobos" and turned away. I hate a doorman delusionally thinking he is powerful and important because he tells people they can't get in.

Eddie and I have agreed that we will never attempt to go to the Skybar again, on the list or not, and will never stay at the Mondrian. So when he is a huge celebrity, I'm sure he will tell them to kiss his shiny butt cheeks.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

United We Fall

I truly hate United Airlines, I get nothing but ulcers from them. Major saga today that ended with me arriving in LA after midnight instead of 10:20, when I was supposed to.

Get a call that flight out at 6:20 is delayed such that I'll miss my connection.

Call USAirways (as it was a codeshare flight), wait on hold for 10 minutes, but they can't do anything for me.

Call United, wait on hold for 10 minutes, get a very nice lady who says she can rebook me thru Chicago and get me in an hour later. She also agrees to let me change to a later flight on my return. Just as she's about to do it all, we get disconnected.

Call United back, wait on hold for another 10 minutes, get a rude bitchy guy who changes me thru to Chicago, but tells me he can't do anything for the return flight, says things like, "it's only an hour difference" and "the return flight has nothing to do with it"... doesn't care that the previous woman said she could/would do it, then we get disconnected.

Call United back a third time, wait on hold for another 10 minutes, get a rude bitchy woman who also says they can't change my return flight and also says, "it's only an hour and if I change your return flight, you'd be gaining a whole day". I hate people like that.

So after all that, they say they can't do anything about my return.

But it's not over yet...

The flight out of Rochester was delayed.

Though we arrived in Chicago a half hour before my connection, we sat on the runway for 15 minutes, causing me to have to RUN about a mile through the airport (NOT in sneakers) to catch my plane. I arrived at my gate sweaty, nauseous, and with my lungs about to explode, only to sit there for another half hour while this flight was delayed also.

They put people through this crap all the time and don't seem to think they need to be polite or compensate them. I think I'm about to cut up my Credit Card that earns United miles and always try to fly JetBlue or AirTran or Virgin Atlantic.


Thursday, November 04, 2004

Viva La Scorpios

November is a busy birthday month in my family. Yesterday was Mom's birthday. Sis and I went to her grave and sang to her. It's still hard to believe she's gone.

Sunday is my brother's, next week is mine.

Traditional Scorpio Traits

Determined and forceful (sometimes)
Emotional and intuitive (very)
Powerful and passionate (on a good day)
Exciting and magnetic (after a couple cocktails)

On the dark side...

Jealous and resentful (jealous: no; resentful: damn right)
Compulsive and obsessive (about food: yes; about cleaning: NO)
Secretive and obstinate (nope)

For three related Scorpios, we were all quite different. My brother seems to fit the stereotypes, Mom and I were much more similar, more mellow.

I'm off to LA tomorrow to visit Eddie for his birthday. I've asked for "no drama", since, like a true Scorpio, he seems to be a magnet for it...

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Rock the Vote

It was a bit surprising to me to realize that the last time the Sox won the World Series (prior to 2004), women did not have the right to vote. You've come a long way baby.

I was outraged at one of my magazines that had an article about celebrities that could run for president. The first one they listed was Madonna. That reformed skank wouldn't stand a chance. Then again, I think there's been a few presidents who have been reformed (or full blown) skanks.

The article (if you can call it that) also listed Ben Affleck and said he's "already got the ladies' vote". Honestly, any moron who thinks we'd vote for a guy just because he's good looking needs to have a cookie with his lobotomy. Eye candy has it's time and place, but the White House is not it. I want my President to be a Rocket Scientist, not a beefcake.

It's serious business, but sometimes you have to laugh: Election Day humor.