Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Splendid Surprise.

This past Thursday we had unexpected and wildly welcome visitors. Sharon and Fernando found themselves, quite unexpectedly, in the area. After one phone call went unanswered I received a message that could only be shared between long time and comfortable friends, informing me that they were at the moment of decision and wanted to come see us even if it meant sleeping Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Style (Head to Toe four to a bed like Charlie's Grandparents). 6 hours later, (and after one brief stint to what would have become the Ocean) they were on our couch and it was as if no time had past since our last face to face. (In actuality it had been years with one all too brief lunch last summer.)

I had the next day off of work (mostly) and I had the most wonderful day with one of my favorite couples.

We spent most of the day walking the city and seeing what ever popped in to our heads. We took a ferry and saw the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty. We stopped in at Ground Zero and walked down Wall Street. We went to our favorite book store and picked up some great books for Miranda and Sammy. We went to FAO Swartz and took a walk through Central Park then down 5th Ave and the whole day began and ended at the Temple.

And We Ate.

At one point, the day had almost beat us down (we all were operating on 5 hours (if that) of sleep) and we went to a restaurant just for dessert, even though it was 4 in the afternoon and we had plans for dinner in 2 hours. We needed a Pick Me Up and it came looking like this...


And then it looked like this...



Which made us look like this...




It was a wonder filled day spent with long time and comfortable friends.

Lindsay had to be grown up and work and spent most of the day missing and being missed. Her only comfort was the promise of return trips to follow. But for now, I think back on what must have been an exhausting day for the Seminarios winding its way down in Central Park, as we talked under that cloud covered sky as if were a daily tradition, and I was grateful for friends like these.





~p

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Uggh...


So I was planning to write a really terrific post to begin my series on cities (a new feature for the blog), but I'm feeling like total CRAP, so I'm not going to. I'm not a very good sick person; I can't focus very well, and I can be pretty crabby. So I'm going to bed early tonight, with hopes that my head will feel neither quite so large nor quite so full in the morning.

On an interesting side note, when I typed "sick" into Google Image Search to try to find a little something to put at the top of this post, several pictures of Tom Cruise came up. Funny.

~L

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

This Is What I Came Up With.

I'm sitting here trying to figure out what to blog about and nothing is coming...

Coming.

Once, when I worked at Blockbuster (I was around 17), I had the job of putting the letters on the marquee for the coming attractions, and I had finished it early in the afternoon. That night (or possibly two nights later), a woman came in and asked who was responsible for writing the marquee. Well, it was kind of a hard job 'cause the letters would fall off at the slightest wind or jiggle on my behalf, so for some reason I actually thought this woman was going to tell me what a great job I did (incidentally, people rarely comment on things that are right). Anyway, I had spelled 'Coming' as 'Comming,' and had to head out with my long rod with a suction cup on the end and face the wind.

I have always been bad at spelling. I got a 'D' in spelling in the 5th grade. I remember it clearly. I actually thought, 'Huh, I guess I can't spell.' It was like I was just in school to find out what my strengths were, and to then focus on them and shun the rest of it. (Eventually it all became 'the rest of it.') But I don't think you should get a 'D' in 5th grade. Even if you earn it. Come on, you're gonna hold back some kid 'cause he thinks 'very' has two R's? (I did...until Jr. High... I knew you could spell it with one 'R', but you also had the option of two if you needed it. I can't think of when that might help you. Or of another word that has options in its spelling... oh, wait: Theater.) I once had a girl friend who reads this blog (which narrows it down to three... and almost Stacy) who told me she loved the way I spelled 'While.' She didn't tell me I was spelling it wrong, but saw it as endearing. This has made me nervous any time I write the word.

I have always liked to write but hated to spell. It's just like Peanuts and Peanut Butter. I would say that Peanuts are my favorite nut, while, as a child, I hated Peanut Butter. But in my old age, I have learned that I really REALLY like CHUNKY Peanut Butter and could take or leave the creamy.

I have found that as I have gotten older, I love things that I once hated, or was supposed to hate. I had Brussels Sprouts for the first time in my life this past winter and they were show-stopping! I loved them. As a matter of fact, we got those Zip Lock Steamer Bags just so I could steam up some Brussels Sprouts and eat them, all by themselves.

I love those Zip Lock Steamer Bags. They are Great! It says right on the bag how long you put in a half a bag of Broccoli, or a whole bag of Peas. You do what it says, and Presto Stanley! You have yourself bright, green, crisp veggies in a matter of seconds.

Another incredible invention (and this is something I have actually wanted to Blog about for a while now) is this scrub brush from IKEA. This thing is 99 cents! And has fully changed the way we do our dishes. A few months ago you might have found me digging through dirty dishes, hunting for our filthy scrub brush, only to find out that my better half had put it under the sink (next to the Drain-O and Rat Poison) in order to keep it clean. Well, not any more, my friends. See that little circle on the tip? That is a suction cup (only now does it occur to me that this is a much smaller version of the tool I once used to misspell words on the Blockbuster marquee). This suction cup can support this guy so he stands on his own, next to the cold water knob on top of the sink. I can ALWAYS find it, andit is no longer damp and filled with smutch. When I need it, I just reach out and there it is, dry and ready for work. And for 99 cents! I told Lindsay that the next time we are at IKEA we are picking up six...or ten. If I lived closer to an IKEA I would do a give away for one of these dish washing MIRACLES. You know what... plan on it. I'll make Suzie and Nathan take me over to the KEA and we'll have a 'home cleaning post' give away. So start thinking.

Once, when I worked at the Barnes and Noble Cafe, I invented a drink called a 'Miracle.' It was mostly just iced Chocolate Milk with a dash of Hazelnut syrup, but I loved them. I loved them because I loved the idea of people walking up and asking me for a Miracle. Which they never did, of course. I never wrote it on the chalkboard menu. I didn't think I could spell 'Miracle.' And besides, what what would you charge for one?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

It's Saturday.

Well, the drawing is over (Congrats to the Winner!) and we have the whole weekend off, but didn't really want to leave the house. Yesterday after work we went to the MET and looked at the new Costume Institute exhibit (Lovely), and took a walk through Central Park (Lovely but for the wind). So, this morning we could see the day before us and it was shaping up to be a very grown-up Saturday. A bit of cleaning, a dash of dishes, walking the dog, and a smidgen of shopping (grocery, not the fun kind.) I am like an eight year old and have to be told that no one enjoys doing these things but they have to be done. (Peter Pan and Wendy complexes abound at our house on the weekend. Feel free to close you openly shocked mouths.) But the topic of something creative was also discussed and finally it was decided that we should make art.
I had picked up some discarded canvases on one of my walks home and they have been sitting under the couch since. We had brought home a lot of stuff from our Euro trip and had not used (or even figured out how to use) these things. And so we pulled it all out sat down and our own little tables in the kitchen and whipped up these...



There was some talk, early on, about one artist being better than the other, but such discussion soon proved unfounded. They really turned out cool and not only do they remind us of our wonder-filled trip abroad (which we promise to stop talking about), but also of this lazy day before Easter when we spent time getting glue on our sleeves and bartering over who got which piece of memorabilia, and remembering that the best part of Europe was spending whole days in a place that we love, with the person that we love more. It sounds a lot like today. And so we walk the dog.


~p


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

So what about you?


Do you ever feel like you come here and it's just Patrick and Lindsay going on about themselves and how they think they're all cool and stuff? Well, now it's your turn. Probably the coolest thing about us is that we have wicked cool friends and family. And lately, we've had some really cool strangers pop in here as well, so we would like to hear from you, too...or two. (Not a lot of strangers... get it?)

So, I really wanted to come up with a question that would help us all get to know each other and let us feel comfortable commenting and looking at each others blogs or myspaces or online photographic portfolios. I scoured the internet (and by "scoured," I mean I googled "questions to get to know someone") and this is what I came up with:

'What is your favorite letter?'

Lindsay is in the bath right now reading something of importance; let's ask her first.

"Hey, babe?"

"Yeah?"

"What's your favorite letter?"

Without hardly a pause (do I ask her lots of random questions while she's bathing? Perhaps.):

"'L' of course."

"Why?"

"Llllindsay Lllivingston... What's your favorite letter?"

I'm gonna have to say that my favorite letter really is 'P'; I know, right? Kind of a let down. But I have a real memory of walking around my backyard when I was in elementary school thinking that 'P' wasn't a very good letter, I mean, come on...'P'...'Pee!' It's the only letter that is a word of something that comes out of you. Unless, I suppose, a Bee flew in your mouth and then you opened your mouth and let it fly back out. Or if you shoved a pea up your nose and then blew real hard and shot it out again...but even then, which is worse: 'Pee' or 'Nose Pea'?

But then I started thinking that not a lot of things start with 'P' and that kinda makes those of us that do sorta special. That day I adopted Penguins as my favorite animal because probably some elementary-aged penguin was walking around thinking that nothing really cool started with 'P' and so he probably knew how I was feeling. And maybe he picked 'Patricks' as his favorite animal, cause we both, you know, got it.

And so, on to you, gentle reader. Which letter is it? Let us all know.

AND!! As an extra incentive to really think about your answer (or to not think but a least comment) Lindsay and I will randomly pick (I'm sure a hat will be involved) one posted comment and send the winner ONE LETTER MUG with the subject of their comment right on the front it. We have our LETTER MUGS (Pictured above) and we love them. So good luck and go forth.

The winner will be chosen Friday Evening at 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.

~P & L

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Because Sharon Asked.

So, I know there are those of you out there that think about us and say to yourself, "I think it's cute that they tried to move to New York but ended up in Jersey. It's cute but, I would never live in New Jersey." Well, here is the story of how it all went down.

Lindsay applied (and recieved a scholarship) to the City University of New York. It's on 34th Street, you know the one that had the "Miracle"; also, it is across the street from the Empire State Building, so when Lindsay goes to school, this is where she goes:
That's the view from the front door of her school.

So I got a job on 87th and 3rd on the upper east side. Just a few avenues away from Central Park and the Met, so when I went to work, I went there. Today I just got home from my new location at Rockefeller Center, You know, the Christmas Tree with the Ice Skating Rink, or 'The Today Show' so this is where I go now:
The address of my new place of employment is "50 Rock," for those of you in the know. I don't mean to go on about how cool New York is (real cool), but to convey the New York-ness of our House here...


In Jersey.

When we looked for an apartment in the city, we were shown tiny little rooms in scary spots that were not close to anywhere we needed to be. Note: we were actually shown a room with a hot plate and a small window, Lindsay said to the man, "Uhh we have a queen sized bed" and the man replied with a laugh, "Well, that won't fit in here!" That little room was a subtle $1400.00 a month.

Regardless of the horrible house hunting experience (and it was horrible) we had no other option.

Our dear friends had set us up with their dear friends who were living in Tukahoe. It was incredibly gracious (think about it, would you let total strangers come stay at your house?). It turned out that they had a brother who was with his wife in Asia for a month and we could stay in their apartment for a few weeks. (The couple in Asia ended up becoming our best friends Liz and Jared of the St. Patrick's day post.) They lived in Hoboken.

We had never considered Jersey because we were moving to Manhattan. One day we were getting ready for a day of house hunting in the city when we passed a small realtor who had an apartment listed in our range. We asked about it and the woman told us she didn't even have the keys yet and didn't know anything about the property. We gave her our name and went back to Liz and Jared's and made some appointments in the city. An hour later, just as we were leaving, the woman called and said she could take us to see that place we had asked about. We almost turned her down but we were in the area and not in a place to be real picky. She walked us down Garden Street, a beautiful, tree-lined street with parks and colorful brownstone buildings. I honestly thought that this was some realtor trick to make us think we were in a good area, but there at 615 she stopped and we went in. It was (and is) small but sweet. It has a great big kitchen...


lovely nooks for reading or just sitting...


a delightful patio/backyard area...


perfect spots for books and flowers (which came from the backyard)...


a cozy place for sleeping (and sniffing, apparently)...


and a romantic view of the neighbors. (Yes, that really is the view from our patio, and yes, the rainbow is real.)
It truly is a wonderfully charming home, and we adore it (and, somewhat begrudgingly, Jersey). Won't you come and visit? If we have the time, we could stop into New York, too!

~P & L


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Surprise! New Hair.

Okay, okay, so not that surprising. But really, both Patrick and I have gone a record amount of time without changing our hair (though it couldn't last forever). We don't dye Easter Eggs, but at least we dye something!

This is what we looked like a few days ago:

*I know I look rather unpleasant in this picture. Patrick told me we were going for "severe" faces. He lies.
**I also know this picture is at a weird angle. I apologize for any neck discomfort looking at it may cause you.


Now we look like this:



We switched! I got reddish hair magnificently provided by my love's expertise in hair-dying, and Patch traded his red hair (dyed for this play) for a terrific black-brown reminiscent of a rockabilly star.


So far, my two favorite comments have been:

AJ (a little boy in our Primary class): "Look! You two switched hair!"

Sister Braby (a darling woman who works at the Manhattan Temple with us): "Patrick, your hair looks so much better like this. I didn't want to say anything while you had it, but I never liked the red. Brother Andelin (oh, I shouldn't say this)...well, he said it looked like you did it with food dye! This is much better."

Indeed, Sister Braby. Indeed.


~L

Saturday, March 01, 2008

It Must be March 1st


So we left the house this morning at 10:00 (that's AM) and this was the sign taped to our door. Our VERY thoughtful upstairs neighbors had put it up to quiet the guests they would be receiving this morning around 7:52.

Why? Today is two weekends before St. Patrick's Day!! Hoboken's biggest holiday, by far!! Not the actual St. Patrick's Day, mind you, no no, as to not compete with the Jersey City St. Paddy's celebration (next week) or the slam bang Manhattan party (the actual weekend of). AND SO we here in Hoboken like to get our Irish groove on the first weekend in March.

And it looks a lot like this...


Drinking is the name of the game, and you go early and you go all day. This picture was taken on my way to work, around 10:12 am. Now, what you're seeing is a line to enter the red building covered by the van (with that yellow bay window above). That building is... you got it, a BAR! And they don't start serving the hard stuff until 11:00 so these guys got about 45 more minutes in the 38 degree weather. But that's ok, cause they're all a bit tipsy already. Gotta keep themselves warm somehow.


Walk a few more blocks and...


This line goes around the corner. Every bar had a line, and here are two true facts about Hoboken:
#1 Hoboken is a mile square.
#2 Hoboken has more bars per square mile than any other city in the U.S.
(Also, it's the birthplace Baseball and Frank Sinatra, but that's a bit off the point.)

So the more we walked the more it looked like this.

Or this....


This is a horse-mounted cop telling a tipsy citizen to climb back in his window before he falls out.

Remember this is Ten O'Clock in the MORNING!!!

Many of you may know the story about last year's bash, but for those of you who don't, I'll give you the short version, real short.

We were walking to dinner with our friends Liz and Jared around 4:00 pm when a very drunk man reached out and grabbed on to Liz and said, (Please censor the following and note that we do not approve of such language but this is what was said and we can only report the facts. Alright get ready.) So this guy grabbed Liz and said, "I would love to be in your butt right now." Needless to say Jared (Liz's husband) punched the guy in the face, (really) and the two fought on top of cars and in the street. THEN drunk guy's friend shows up and starts in on Jared, so I reluctantly step in (trés reluctantly) (and by step in, I mean Lindsay and I come up behind the guy with Lindsay yelling, 'Hey! Hey! Hey!'). Well, the drunk guy turns around and looks me in the eye and cocks back ready to punch, and I do pretty much exactly what you would expect from me, I run away screaming in what would later be described as a mix between a twelve year old girl and the small dinosaur that kills Newman in his jeep on Jurassic Park. Well... Since he was cocked and ready to go, his eyes locked on the next closest target, a beautiful but shouting brunette. In my fleeing I looked back just in time to see him clock my eternal companion squarely across the face. (Here is where I do something that you may not expect.) In seeing Lindsay hit, some little snap in the back of my head snaps and I war cry (not unlike Xena) and propel myself atop drunk man and proceed to scratch at his neck and bite the crown of his head.
Needless to say the fight continues with Jared pummeling this man (while I rode him like a drunk sack of flour) until the cops show up where we promptly inform them that the man had punched this plainly sober woman and we were simply standing up in defense of her virtue. The cops asked Lindsay if she wanted to press charges (which Jared and I most certainly did!) but she declined, asking them to just remove him from the streets. They said they would get him home and that he would wake up tomorrow with a hang over and a hefty fine to pay. (We later found out that the city makes over half a million dollars in ticketing on this day alone.*) While continuing on to dinner we asked Lindsay why she didn't press charges and she informed us that the man never came close to actually hitting her, that he had been as quick and as accurate as a drunk sloth and all she did was move her head a bit to dodge the slow moving bullet. (In my defense, I was running away in blinding fear and may not have had the best vantage point, but I really did think he hit her and I really did jump on his back and punch his shoulders and kick him with my heels like I was spurring on a crazy pony. Something that I had never known if I would be able to do if things came down to it.)

This is the one and only fight I have ever been in that was not with one of my Brothers, and even then it never escalated so high. But I think back on it fondly and often. I fought a guy. Granted he was so drunk that he could not easily stand, but I fought him and, with the help of my friend Jared, I won. And so today, while walking to work on this the anniversary of my fight, I saw this guy...




And I thought to myself, 'In three or four hours... I could take that guy.'

~P






*This year the city posted signs leading up to this weekend informing drunks that they should not break any of the following laws: Public Drunkenness, Disturbing the Peace, Carrying an Open Container, and Public Urination. They then went on to tell the dunks that they WILL be ticketed and that the tickets WILL be up to and exceeding $1,000.00. And so, in true Lawyerly form we found this flier in the street this morning:



So luckily, you CAN pee in the streets. And, if you're lucky, it will only cost you $250, not $1000.00. Happy St. Paddy's!