Sunday, July 31, 2005

This is SO mind-blowingly cool!

Optical illusions rule. Check it out:

The mind is a crazy little bugger, ain't it?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Welcome to the World, Charlotte Claire! (And Misc.)

Sweet Charlotte Claire came into the world this morning, via her stunningly beautiful mama, Miss Otter. Congratulations! I am so happy and overjoyed and crying every three seconds. They both look wonderful (I don't know how Miss Otter managed to have a baby, do it without drugs, and still look like a cover model right after Lottie was born), and daddy is obviously the proudest guy in the world. He wrote the sweetest, awestruck note about the event. Did I mention I cried?

In more baby follies, B & E brought Avery by work today. I love her and could hold her little snuggly self forever. She's such a pretty little peanut. Between the Avery visit and the Charlotte birth, my hormones are slam dancing. I've burst into happy tears like, 11 times today! Someone pass the Kleenex. And a Xanax if you've got one.

In other news...
How much am I loving that AmyCorinne is up and blogging again? I had Portuguese steak and eggs for lunch today and thought of her, because it was what she ordered the first time I met her!

My dad shipped me 4 boxes of my old records today. Thanks Dad! I'm actually kind of excited about getting them. I miss listening to good old vinyl. Our dusty turntable won't even know what hit it!

I'm feeling very stressed out because although we got it on day one, neither Mr. Zigkvetch nor I have started Harry Potter yet. I'm so afraid I'm going to accidentally read/see/hear a spoiler. I'll be so pissed.

I think I'm getting a migraine. I haven't had a migraine in years, but this is exactly what it was like, back when I used to get them every so often. Feh. Part of my vision goes-- like a little blotch. It kind of looks like the monster from Predator, when it was "invisible." All wavy-like. Double feh. Actually, let's make that a triple feh, since Ahnold, of Predator fame is now the frakking GOVERNOR of CA.

It is so freaking hot outside. We played our concert last night, and I swear it was like playing in a vat of soup. Thick soup- like pea or cream of tomato. But, we cooled off at the C's house afterward and had lots of good conversation and laughs. And a couple of episodes of Family Guy.

I love Family Guy. I don't know if it's because I live in the very area the show is set in, the perfectly-aligned-to-my-age nostalgic references or what, but it never fails to crack me up. "OH YEAH! KOOL-AID!!!"

I have two huge projects due tomorrow. I can't concentrate as it is right now. I don't have the slightest clue if my break-time blog entry even makes sense. What to do, what to do...

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Random Fandom Bo-Bandom, Banana-Fana-Lo Fandom..., whatever.

I'm really tired, even though I've been trying to get more sleep. Bah.
  • I really want to see Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I love the first one and loved the book as a kid (glad to see we're back to squirrels. Silly gooses, chocolate factories are for squirrels!). My long-lost-recently-found friend Anne recommends it, and I trust her taste.
  • I am on the edge of my seat waiting for baby Charlotte to come into the world. If I'm this hyper about it, imagine what her mom-to-be, Miss Otter must be feeling!
  • I am so sad for dear Leanne upon the loss of her wonderful grandmother. I love you Leanne- please let me know if there's anything I can do for you or your family.
  • I'm also sad to hear about those boy scout leaders who died in a freak accident while setting up the big camping Jamboree.
  • But I'm annoyed that someone I know, who, granted, is heavily involved with the Boy Scouts council in our area is making the accident all about her. She doesn't know any of the people and wasn't there. And while I totally understand her feeling awful about the whole thing, I guess I just don't get why she's actually going around and directly trying to elicit sympathy for herself from people. I found myself almost saying I was so sorry for her loss. She does this kind of thing with a lot of stuff.
  • I really hate when people make tragedies all about them. It's a pet peeve of mine. From Star Jones (shudder) going on and on about how "blessed by G-d" she was because she had been vacationing in some of the areas worst hit by the tsunami only a MONTH beforehand to those who immediately, upon hearing about a tragedy, try to "one-up" with their own tragedy. Bah.
  • Lance Armstrong has announced that he's keeping his options open for a possible run for political office someday. File under: Hmmm. And also: Give me a break.
  • Playing a concert tonight. Should be hot but fun, nonetheless. And then over to the C's place for cocktails and munchies. Of course, as the designated driver, cocktails = juice or soda. Don't drink and drive, kids!
  • Oh, the Tony Bourdain show rocked my socks off. How can you not love a food show that comes with a viewer discretion warning and a Mature Audiences rating?! Absinthe tripping, sick jokes about dead Santa's helpers, headcheese, wine at 7 AM? Check! This is foodie entertainment nirvana, people.
  • Go Discovery! I do not have a lump in my throat and a slight moistening of the eye. Shut up.
  • Finally got to see sweet Paul on Saturday. The visit was short, but fun.
  • Went to a giant friend reunion (way better than a high school reunion!!!) with a group of friends who used to be thicker than thieves but who've all moved out across the U.S. with their growing families and haven't seen each other in years. It was so fun to see everyone, and weird how, even though we'd been apart for so long, we fell into the same groove the minute we saw each other as if the years hadn't gone by.
  • While on this reunion, I found my OFFICIAL HAPPY PLACE. Wait- don't run off thinking I'm about to share some scary TMI story that will scar you emotionally for life! I'm talking about swimming in a beautiful lake on a perfect day under a granite mountain in New Hampshire. From now on, every time someone tells me to take a deep breath and think of a happy place, (giving blood, at work when I'm in the fetal position, rocking back and forth under my desk, etc.) that's what I'm picturing. I swam almost all the way across in pure solitude (people could still see me- I'm not an idiot, I promise) and the most exhilerating feeling of freedom. And I'll admit I thought it was awfully sweet when J and F came canoeing over to me under the guise of telling me we were all packing up soon, when in reality, they just wanted to make sure I wasn't having a heart attack or needed assistance. Silly boys, don't you know that fat girls got serious float action going on?
  • Ooh- I just found a perfect picture of exactly where we were! Enjoy:

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Cookbook Meme- I've done been tagged

Oh sweet Megan, you were so right- I love this meme.

1. Total number of cookbooks I own: No idea. A million?

2. Last cookbook(s) I've bought: For Mr. Zigkvetch: The Complete Book Of Sauces by Sallie Y. Williams. Hands down the best sauce cookbook ever. For Daddy Zigkvetch: Soup! Soup! Soup!: Chinese Style by Mu-Ts'un Li and Mu-Tsun Lee. Dad and I love ourselves some Asian soups!

3. Last (food) book(s) I read: I'm not sure what the last food book I read was, but here are three I've received recently but haven't gotten to yet: Comfort Me with Apples: More Adventures at the Table by Ruth Reichl, The Saucier's Apprentice by Raymond Sokolov, and the ubiquitous French Women Don't Get Fat: The Secret of Eating For Pleasure by Mireille Guiliano.

4. Five cookbooks that mean a lot to me:
  1. The Pillsbury Cookbook: This binder-style cookbook came out in the late 80s, I believe, and provided me with an easy guide to cooking wonderful cookies and meals while I was in college. Two of my favorite (and most requested, ahem) cookie recipes of all time came from this cookbook- Lemon Kiss cookies and Starlight Mint cookies. It's been out of print for awhile, and my original binder was in shreds. I was able to get a pristine new copy from an affiliate off of Amazon, and a tiny used (and abridged) paperback version off of Ebay. This cookbook is always the first place I look and is the cookbook equivalent to comfort food for me.
  2. The New Settlement Cookbook: This one is a family tradition. I've linked you to the newest edition, but I have an old edition from my Grandma Sylvia. When I opened it for the first time, I sat on the floor laughing and crying-- there's a long-forgotten, wonderful, sweet note from my Grandpa Julius to Grandma Sylvia just inside the cover. I tell you, it was like finding buried treasure. The recipes inside are hysterical-- everything from the old countries with "modern" twists. More gellatin and borscht recipes than you can shake a stick at. My mom received a copy when she married my dad, (Side story: My funny dad proposed to my mom over the phone by asking her if she could cook!) and used her copy a bunch when I was little. It's packed with old magazine clippings and lists of Thanksgivings gone by.
  3. A 5-ingredients (or less!) cookbook I got as a kid. It had 2 silver rings binding it together, and was printed on index-card-sized colored paper, and typewritten. This little "book" held the world's most perfect and simple peanut butter cookie recipe, which I made for any and every occasion in my youth. I especially loved to make these for my dad for his birthdays and Fathers' Day. Once, I made a GIANT peanut butter cookie, in the shape of a giant peanut, and I wrote on it with icing. And then there's the time when I went to make a batch for dad, and, to my dismay, found no eggs in the fridge. Not one to take failure as an option, I decided that since mayonaise had eggs in it as a main ingredient, I'd just use that in place of the egg. They were crumbly as heck, but surprisingly tasty!
  4. Two old Scholastic (you know, the books you ordered every month at school?) cookbooks that first taught me to love cooking-- even when I wasn't yet allowed to use the stove. I became an expert Ambrosia Fruit Salad maker. And learned that if you make cuts in a hotdog and toothpick the ends together, it will cook and stay in a circle and enable you to eat it in a hamburger bun (ker-azy, I tell you!).
  5. The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen. I learned about the world of vegetarian cooking while in college. The cookbook had me at the spinach and bechamel lasagna recipe. Then there were the Buddah Balls, and so much more. Makes me think of living in our rented house; all 4 (*cough*psycho*cough*) roommates attempting to get together for dinner at least one night a week. Memories... like the corners of my mind... Misty watercolor memories... of the way we were... Scattered pictures... Ok, I'll stop now. Sorry.
5. Which 3, er, 4 people would you most like to see fill this out in their blog?
  1. Flipsy because she's a foodie too, and a vegetarian, so she'll have good stuff, no doubt.
  2. Suzanne because she's a foodie and always has a lovely way of describing things. (Besides, it's fun to force her to post non-boob reduction posts on her blog about boob reduction.)
  3. AmyCorinne because she's also a foodie and because this will (hopefully) force her to finally update her blog!
  4. Molly because she's good at doing memes and is a book hound who loves good food, as well.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

It's Over!

My withdrawal symptoms from lack of chef Anthony Bourdain on TV are over!


The Thin White Cook (apologies to Mr. Bowie for the bad pun) has a new show on the Travel Channel called No Reservations and it starts a week from Monday at 10:00!

More dry wit, exotic locales, amazing, wonderful and creepy foods!


You have a little over a week, folks. More than enough time to go out and get Kitchen Confidential and read it, cover to cover, leaving no lurid detail undigested (yes, "undigested" - a cheap-shot food referential, so sue me). Or, if you'd rather, the book A Cook's Tour about Mr. Bourdain's Food Network-documented trips around the world, in search of the perfect meal.

I'm giddy with excitement. I love this guy. So does Mr. ZigKvetch. We even went to Les Halles when we visited NYC once, our obsession with the man (who has eaten everything from a still beating cobra's heart to a deep-fried Mars bar) is so great.

So, take it from Tony (Yeah, we're pretty much on a first name/nickname basis. We're likethis, doncha know...) and:

  • Don't eat fish on Sundays or Mondays.
  • Don't eat seafood at Sunday brunches.
  • Do order the "special" the next time you go out to eat (unless it's a Sunday or Monday).
  • Eat without fear, close to the ground. Food should be an adventure.
  • And watch the new show so we can discuss.

WHEE, I SAY! (Was that too much? I think it was too much. Um, sorry. Heh.)

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Where have all the happy bubbles of joy gone?
Long time passing.
Where have all the happy bubbles of joy gone?
Long time ago.
Where have all the happy bubbles of joy gone?
Suzanne might have picked them, every one.
When will I ever learn?
When will I ever learn?

Alas, I am not sure where my happy bubbles of joy have gone. But I am sure that I have been far more surly and depressed since they suddenly disappeared. And I am hoping my dear friend Suzanne can figure it out and bring my happy bubbles of joy back. (I'm nothing, if not subtle).

Unless they haven't disappeared, and everyone can see them except for me.
What does one do when the problem is that you're not seeing spots?

Now Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Kvetching

Work is hell.
Or at least frustrating as hell, anyway.

Click on the Matt Groening cartoon to the left (unless you have crazy Superman eyes that can read tiny scrawl in a single bound). Which work scenario are you living? You don't want to know how much of that pertains to me. Oy gevalt!

And while we're on the subject, be sure to check out the finest in ironic cubicle humor here. Ok, yeah, the have a lot of office-joke-oldies-but-goodies but they also do this funny 13 Word thing that is adorable.

Case in point:

Definition #4 from last Wednesday-

Oyster - a person who sprinkles his/her conversation with Yiddish.

Besides, they seem like a couple of nice kids.

Peace. Oyster out.

Monday, July 11, 2005


I had the supreme delight of meeting Miss Avery Noelle on Saturday! Of course, this happy meeting happened only after the complete hysterical chaos that is my life reared its wild and silly head. Behold, the pre-baby-meeting gauntlet of doom:

  • Debating all day whether or not to just show up at the hospital because Dad wasn't able to call me back (no cell phones allowed). What if they were expecting me? What if they just wanted to be left alone? Ack!
  • Hearing from a mutual fun who called me, exclaiming, "why haven't you gone yet?!"
  • Getting ready in a flash to get my butt over there asap.
  • Proudly grabbing the directions to the hospital that I'd had the foresight to print out the night before.
  • Excitedly running out the door, directions in hand.
  • Slamming the door behind me...and quickly realizing that my keys were safely locked INSIDE THE HOUSE.
  • Calling Mr. Zigkvetch to see if he, by chance, was on his way home from his far-away gig. No answer = still in the middle of gig.
  • Calling a friend to see if she would come with me (she knows the dad too) and drive, if I took her out to dinner afterward. She answered the phone and told me she'd already been drinking. For awhile. Quite awhile. (hic)
  • Going next door and asking my neighbors for help.
  • Waking said neighbors from a nice, perfect Saturday afternoon nap.
  • Watching the neighbors on both sides of our house come together to figure out what to do.
  • Watching one of them un-jam a long jammed, unlocked, downstairs bathroom window.
  • Watching the great kid/boy scout next door as he shimmied, head-first through the bathroom window (and if not for the steady hands on his ankles, probably into the toilet) and then unlocked the back door. (Any ideas for a couple of nice gifts for both sets of adult neighbors and one 13 year old will be greatly appreciated)
  • Realizing that I was slowly being eaten alive by mosquitoes. (I must be immune to West Nile at this point.)
  • Meeting my neighbors at my front door as they all yelled to make sure I had my keys in my hand this time, before I slammed the door.
  • Driving along on my way to the hospital (now an hour before closing) in pouring rain.
  • Realizing my car is sputtering because there's almost no gas left. (Good thing I stopped- I never would've made it. Besides, it gave me a moment to appreciate the rainbow that came out.)
  • Getting totally lost in Providence's hospital central. There are like 4 hospitals in 10 square blocks.
  • Parking at the wrong hospital.
  • Going in to the wrong hospital.
  • Calling information from inside the wrong hospital, and being spoken to slowly and kindly by the information phone person, like she was dealing with someone with limited capacity for comprehension. (Shut up.)
  • Walking a million miles (ok, a few blocks, but I was in sandals!) to the correct hospital.
  • Getting lost inside the correct hospital. (Shut up.)
  • Knocking on the hospital room door about 15 minutes before visiting hours were over. (Thankfully, my sweet friends and the kind nurse on duty let me stay a little later.)

And it was all worth it.

I walked into the room and saw the most perfect little pink thing, all swaddled up. She's beautiful. A perfect, tiny, pink, peanut of a little girl. I almost couldn't believe she was real, that's how perfect she looked. Delivery was quick, and Avery came into the world totally un-squished-looking!

Mom looked beautiful. Dad looked a little harried, but so happy. After washing my hands, Dad handed Avery over, and I would've happily held her all night.

Friday, July 08, 2005

And after a dark day comes a ray of light...

Welcome to the world, baby Avery Noelle!!
Mazel tov to my dear friends B & E!!

You have two wonderful, caring, fun, brilliant, lovable parents, you lucky little girl! They're going to take such good care of you and teach you so much. You will always be loved and cared for and you will always be the apple of their eyes.

I know these two people pretty well, so let me give you a little background on your new parents and their immediate family and friends:

  • Kind of goofy, but sweet.
  • Pretty smart- he can do anything from computer and business stuff to finishing a basement with his bare hands, and on schedule! Not to mention, he had enough sense to fall head over heels in love with your mom!
  • Loves Fruit-2-0, and may try to wrestle it from you when you're older.
  • Plays a mean drum-set and guitar.
  • You will be able to wrap him around your little finger in no time, but don't tell him I told you that.
  • He's actually really funny, but don't tell him I said that either, or he'll be impossible to deal with.
  • Loves your mom and you more than life itself.
  • Loves pizza and lasagna and General Gau's chicken.
  • Dances like a monkey.
  • Likes writing novels in birthday, Christmas, etc. cards. Just laugh and tell him you think he's funny, and you'll be fine.
  • Will try to teach you the fine art of spreadsheet-making.
  • Loves Christmas.
  • His friends are also goofy but loyal, and will all love you and do anything to protect you.
  • His parents (Grandma & Grandpa) will love to make you laugh and are gentle, sweet, lovable people. (Note: You will be spoiled.)
  • His brothers will crack you up and will be wonderful uncles to you!


  • One of the sweetest people I have ever known.
  • Beautiful. You'll probably grow up to look just like her. She's even prettier when she's happy-- she almost glows a little. With you around, I'm going to guess that she'll be glowing all the time.
  • Loves to be silly and have fun.
  • She's really smart, too. And clever and funny.
  • Loves your dad and you more than life itself.
  • Loves dessert.
  • Moves with grace. (She's not at all monkey-like.)
  • She's an amazing artist with huge bunches (yes, huge bunches) of creativity and talent.
  • Loves Christmas.
  • She's tougher than she looks. And probably tougher than she even knows. (You're a fine example of that!)
  • Her friends are kind and loyal and and will all love you and do anything to protect you.
  • She will make sure you never, ever miss a Disney movie, because she loves them herself. A lot.
  • She's never met a board game she didn't like.
  • Her parents (Grandma & Grandpa) will love to hold you tight and are lovely, kind, warm people. (Note: You will be spoiled)
  • Her brother and sister-in-law will adore you and spoil you rotten.

Together, they will:

  • Sing to you.
  • Hold you.
  • Tickle you.
  • Comfort you.
  • Teach you.
  • Share with you everything they know about G-d and faith and miracles (like you!).
  • Take you to Disneyworld as often as they possibly can.
  • Love the HECK outta you.

I, your "Auntie" Zigkvetch, will be around to spoil you rotten and will ask to hold you constantly, so you'd better just resign yourself to that fact. Don't worry, I'm well padded and I know how to hold a baby. I will also teach you the flute when you're old enough, if you'd like.

Your "Uncle" Mr. Zigkvetch will think you are beautiful and fragile, play with you when you are older (I hope you like "catch" and have a pretty good pitching arm) and try to teach you about the Red Sox from day one. Don't be offended if he doesn't hold you right off the bat (baseball pun already!), as he gets a little nervous around you baby-folk. He'll teach you the tuba when you're old enough, if you'd like, but come on, why choose tuba when you can play the flute, y'know?

We all love you so much already little Avery! Welcome!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Dark Day

It's all I can do not to delete yesterday's stupid bitchfest.

My thoughts and prayers are with the people in London.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


  • So I'm towel-drying my hair this morning, and I feel a twang between my shoulders and my neck. My neck is out. Hurts like a mo-fo. I'm hoping it'll feel better tomorrow, because I really, really don't want to shell out $40 for a co-pay to the chiropractor.
  • My AIM keeps going down. And then it takes forever to come back up. And even my MSN IM is acting funky. I have important chatting to do, people!
  • It is so freaking hot and humid in my office that the 2 marshmallow Peep chicks I've had on my monitor since before Easter have gone from hard as rocks to squishy "fresh" again. My dear friend ALG says that they've resurrected and that it's particularly fitting seeing as they are, in fact, Easter candy.
  • (I would insert a picture here, but Blogger is being a bastard today too and won't let me upload any pictures)
  • I don't know what I'm doing in my day job.
  • We haven't seen Paul in weeks, and I miss him terribly. And I feel guilty because I still have his NIN cd.
  • I played like ass at last night's concert. No, actually, I think playing out of my ass would have sounded better than how I played last night.
  • I have cramps. (The first person who nods while smirking knowingly, and says, A-HA! gets a resurrected Peep in the eye.)
  • The day is dragging like a caveman's knuckles. (Sorry Geico cavemen. I know I'm being condescending.)
  • I still miss my kitty terribly. I am still not even close to being ready to have another cat.
  • We almost got a bunny, but then we talked a bunch and decided our schedules just wouldn't be fair to the bunny. This is the longest I've gone without a pet. And no, a fish just won't do it.
  • I have "Rock 'n' Roll Party Queen" from the Grease soundtrack in my head on full loop. It. Won't. Stop. And the creepiest part is that I haven't watched or listened to Grease in ages. (Although I did start a new grease can for our indoor grill last night. Maybe that triggered something?)
  • I am full of self-loathing at what a big whiny babyhead I'm being.
  • Gah.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Dream On

Such a dream I had last night!

I had a dream that my friends announced that they were pregnant with twins. This blew my mind because they already have 2 kids, and my girlfriend has said repeatedly that there was no way in heck she'd ever get pregnant again. I was astounded. By both the news and the, um, view. They announced this to a group of friends in the back room of their house which overlooked a gorgeous, dark, sparkling ocean. I wondered out loud (Nice. Apparently I have no tact whatsoever in dreamland) how they could afford 2 more kids and this incredible house overlooking the ocean, especially when they were already concerned about money. They just sort of shrugged. I would've kicked my ass, personally.

Next thing I knew, it was morning. I couldn't believe we'd all fallen asleep there. I ran home to Mr. ZigKvetch and woke him up to tell him the news. He shook his head, and we got ready to go to the beach behind our friends' house. This is where things get weird.

So, we're sitting there on the beach, and all of a sudden these dolphin-like creatures start jumping out of the water, all around us. Someone exclaims, "ooh! Air dolphins!" and as if on cue, the dolphins jump out of the water and sail over us, circling the beach before diving back into the water. Each wave brings more of them, and we're all oohing and ahhing. And then we see the biggest wave coming, and it's filled with the shadows of hundreds of creatures, but different from the dolphins. The wave crashes and...'s hundreds of former tv sitcom stars. The Bradys are there. The creepy girl who played that robot-daughter thing was there, all grown up. Ally Sheedy was there, but wasn't a sitcom star, but hey, let's go with it anyway. It was as if TVLand and Nick at Night had come alive. They all set up exhibits in a beach hotel conference area, and we could go through and meet them all. They even brought their own backdrops with photos and information.

And then I woke up. That'll teach me to eat a veggie burger with the works right before bed. Anyone who'd like to take a shot at analyzing that dream beyond veggie burger-inducement, will have my eternal gratitude.

Happy 4th of July, everyone!