Thursday, May 21, 2009

Big Happenings in LIC

Well it has been a long while, but I guess I just needed something important enough to blog about. Well Amy is pregnant and we couldn't be happier. Can you tell the sex?

So the naming war is on. We both have our ideas, but realize we have a few months to decide. It is probably the biggest decision I've ever made, so I feel like taking our time is the right tact.

Onward and upward, wish us luck.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Another week, another paint job

Now that the cats have their bathroom painted, we figured it was time for ours. If you don't work for Crayola or Benjamin Moore, you may not know what Parisian Mist looks like, but it is a light green. This one went up in 1 coat, well maybe 1-1/2 after two coats of primer, but it looks good. I don't know if we'll do any of these other rooms, they are a lot larger.

The rain continues, but the projects are limiting during the week. I've already burnt out the motor on one shredder, cleaning out some last moving boxes that have been sitting in a closet for a year. I pitched a local restaurant, Blend, to an industry magazine for their Mezorca. It isn't a whale, it is a Mexican-style corn on the cob, with mayo, cheese, red pepper and lime. They have it for dinner and even brunch, among what they call Tapattizers. I hope I can help out a local joint get some national attention. Now I'm hungry for some fresh sweet corn. That frozen stuff just doesn't cut it. Thank goodness Florida is growing it right now.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Home Improvement

How many shades of blue could there possibly be? What exactly is Shore Club Blue? I feel like I'm looking for a striped tie to match a crest on my blazer for a christening (yacht, not child). I thought I had come to know too much when I learned of Perriwinkle. Yet, we finally decided on a color for the second bathroom. Now the fun part, painting. I think I may save that for next weekend. One step at a time.

We seemed to make a commitment to dedicate March to home improvement. We have 2 bathrooms to work on, including painting, new towel bars, shelving and hooks, lots and lots of hooks. Amy even hinted in an overhaul of the medicine cabinet, or at least the door. When I pointed out that it was imbedded in the wall she seemed to relent to the latter. We also have a futon to remove, a bookshelf to move, a desk to bring in and a chair to find for the living room. We haven't even made it to the other rooms that need lighting, paint (possibly) and maybe even more furniture.

I made an attempt to move to some more energy efficient lighting, but I have not had much luck finding lights that Amy likes. Hopefully we'll be able to find something she can live with that will reduce our daily energy needs.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Love Is...Corned Beef

Valentine's Day can bring a lot of pressure for a guy. You're expected to come up with the standards (flowers, chocolate, card), but also a romantic dinner and gift. Well what place could be better to take a native New Yorker than the new 2nd Avenue Deli (now at 33rd and 3rd). The line of people waiting out the door was a familiar site, and let me know this was in deed the spot.

We were greeted by coleslaw and fried chicken skin at the table, and were already planning what food we could take home before deciding what to order. Since Amy was coming from the gym, it provided a casual atmosphere and quick service to get us on our way.

My gift was probably more thoughtful than romantic, but achieved the desired result. Amy loved the markers and colored pencils, and appreciated the effort to give her another activity to keep her hands busy and mind distracted.

The start of the day was a lot of fun as well. I brought 10+ pounds of berries to her school for morning snack. We helped the kids prepare a tortilla with cinnamon and sugar, crisped them up in the oven, and then had them spread jam over it and top with fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries). The children had a lot of fun doing it, and were much less messy than I anticipated. They really ate up that fruit, and it was great to see Amy at work.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My Man Obama

I decided a separate post was required so that I could get out my thoughts on the presidential primaries. I was a politics major after all.

I haven't lived in Illinois since the mid 90's, so I was introduced to Obama with the rest of the nation in 2004. For the record, I have read Audacity of Hope, and hope that he is the next President of the United States. With that all said, I can make an argument to any American on why they should support Obama over McCain, AND McCain has been my favorite candidate on the Republican side all along. Obama not only had another sweep tonight in the primaries, but by overwhelming margins. Still, he gained a slim delegate lead due to Democratic Party (DP) rules. His momentum is growing, and it will be tough for even the negative attacks that are sure to come from the Right in the general election (GE) to stop it. [Editor's Note: I will get into my acknowledgement of the success of the Republic Party in GE's, but can I just point out now how they were able to be known as the "Right" (also known as correct) side.]

Clinton's last stand will come in Texas, and Ohio which falls on the same day. Texas I find interesting because it offers a chance for her campaign to try something that would be a big gamble at a time when the whole game is on the line for their campaign. Obama and his supporters have enjoyed the comparisons between him and JFK, RFK and anyone else who has an airport named after them. And certainly the Clinton's have enjoyed their own comparisons to the "First Family" of 20th Century American Politics. As attentions draw to Texas, wouldn't it be interesting if the Clinton campaign reminds voters that the great ideas of JFK got nowhere while he was President, and it was LBJ, a prominent Texas politician, that achieved legislation moving through Congress because of experience. What a gamble for a democratic nominee to attack the Kennedy legacy in the state where he was assassinated to glorify one of their own and drive home the experience advantage that Clinton claims (can you tell I'm not convinced). The recent backlash by prominent politicians in the Latin American community must be a concern, so all bets may be off.

I'll make a couple more points I feel go unreported and do impact the election. First, I was unable to vote in the New York primaries, and I think many people in other states faced the same dilemma. No, I am not a felon, I am a registered Independent. Primaries are party affairs, and I have not pledged to any of them. Closed primaries, which occur in many of the states that hold "open" elections, limit one of Obama's main bases of support. This is why you see him doing better than Clinton in preliminary national polls of a 2 candidate GE. Many things could change between now and then. Beyond VP choices, one of my criticisms of the DP has been their apparent ignorance of the electoral college.

I will put this in the simplest terms I can. Obama has done well in all contests, and has won (often decisively) in "Red" states and any state the Democrats could claim in the last 20 years. When you look at the traditional swing states (Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania) and even add Texas, and you have three that haven't held primaries and Florida that didn't count with respect to delegates. He has the potential to create the "Obama Republicans" (equivalent to "Reagan Democrats")

Clinton tried to appeal to the populist base tonight by talking about a raise of the minimum wage to $9.50 before any raise to congressional pay, and her frequent demand that everyone have the congressional health care plan. It's a good start to her "2-minute drill" that I think is the beginning of the end of her campaign. She ignored her failures of tonight. Luckily she seems to have all of her time outs. I just saw a graphic on CNN that showed that if either candidate were to win every remaining state going to the convention that he/she would not have enough delegates for the nomination. McCain has already put his campaign on cruise control, and will have a significant advantage for the GE. With Obama's momentum and a realization of what is on the line, I hope that the Clinton campaign will be willing to withdraw from the race and give the DP and Obama their best chance of victory in November if things continue to go his way.

How negative will she go? I think everyone knows not to count the Clintons out., but Obama seems to have a GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT that if ignored will cripple the DP for years to come. I believe President Clinton has done an incredible amount of damage to his legacy by his actions in this campaign, and if his wife doesn't win the nomination the damage will be tenfold. They both have a lot to lose and neither will go down without a fight. I just hope that some of that rhetoric is true and she really does care more about the outcome of the national election versus the outcome of her own primary race.

Reliving a Magical Night

Amy and I finally got around to meeting with the person putting together our wedding album. I was surprised of the set up. Magnum is a long-time co-op, owned by the many photographers and others that own a piece. The woman we met with had never seen any of the photos, or even knew if the photographers shot on film or digital. I never met with the photographers we ended up using, and didn't know if everything was digital or not (they were using so many different cameras that day). We chose a metal cover with a black matte set-up for now. There weren't many samples to see so we may reconsider before it is done, but we think it could be different (and possibly fire resistant). It is still a long way from finished, and we'll have many opportunities to change our mind, so we'll all have to wait and see what we end up with.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Herbie Hancock? No, No, No...

My obligatory Grammy Post.

Amy was excited to watch the awards last night, perhaps due in part to the imminent end to the writers' strike.  I quickly lost interest after they gave away two awards in the first hour while digging acts out of the grave because the A-list acts were either pregnant, in rehab or committed, and I went off to bed to read more of my HST biography.  I woke up to learn that the Cohen brothers lied to me.  There is a country for old men, and Herbie Hacock (67 years young) won Album of the Year.  At first I checked to see who won CD or MP3 of the Year, convinced they only gave out "Album" of the Year to a member of AARP.  When I realized he did in fact beat out Amy Winehouse and Kanye West I was reminded of why the Grammys have become irrelevant to me.  I did catch Kanye's first acceptance speech, when I feared for the conductor's life when they started playing the music on him and didn't turn it off when we began talking about his mother.  This may be a turning point in AW's recovery, having had to miss one of the greatest nights of her professional career because of her drug abuse.

Today I had an interesting visit to Random House, where I had the chance to meet the Dean family from Omaha.  Tony Dean wrote a book about his family's success in losing weight together called the F.A.S.T. Diet.  I am working with him on some publicity surrounding the book, and his family was in town for an appearance on the Today Show.  I managed to crash a lunch at his publisher's offices.  They had Obama's book everywhere, along with a number of others I have read, or am still trying to get to (including the Zombie Survival Guide I received for Christmas) laying around the offices.  I didn't see a Grammy, and the woman in publicity wasn't sure if they even get an award to display in the office for their role in producing and distributing the audio version of Audacity of Hope, for which he won the Grammy.  Obama's real prize will come in November.