Monday, April 30, 2012

day plan goes awry by night (lyn)

I try all day to eat light. 

I get to the courthouse at 10 to report for the case I was selected to serve on last week.   I have half a fat-free scone for breakfast, while sitting and waiting for the lawyers to arrive.   At 10:15,   a clerk of the court comes in.  “Your case has been suspended.  One of the lawyers had a personal situation and can't be here today.  You are all dismissed.”  That's it.  I’m done with jury duty for another four years.

I walk over to the office where I’m consulting.  I have a two-hour meeting with the head of marketing and leave hungry.

By the time I get home it’s three.  I need to leave by 4:30 to meet Robyn for a 6pm screening; I’ll eat only one meal today.  Around 4, I make a big salad from leftovers.  I’m feeling skinnier already.

I meet Robyn to see The Five-Year Engagement, a sweet Judd Apatow movie.  I get home around 8:30 with a strong need to eat.  I go to Sedutto’s and get a chocolate chip ice cream cone, and feel guilty for the rest of the night.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

weigh-in (lyn)

As a lifetime member of Weight Watchers, I need to officially weigh-in a minimum of once per calendar month.  The other requirement is that I must maintain a weight within two pounds of my goal weight, which is 124.

A year ago exactly I weighed 121.6.  Today I’m 125.8.  Okay, I still fit in all my clothes; I’m not tracking; and I look thin.  But I’m afraid if I don’t watch it, my weight will steadily increase.  I'm still aspiring to be 121-122; I like the way that sounds.

I grew up thin, and only weighed myself when I went for annual check ups and the doctor required it.  I never thought much about food. I ate according to preference, giving no consideration to calories or health.  It was a nice ride for over 50 years.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

a long story for a short pair of jeans (lyn)

Not too long ago I hated buying jeans, but now that I’m thin again I don’t mind.  The other day I was getting a manicure and a woman about my age was wearing a pair of slouchy jeans with holes in them.  They looked great on her.  She told me she had gotten them at J Crew, so I order a pair of size 28, thinking that’s my size. It turns out I’m a size 27, so I return them.

Now, of course, I absolutely need a pair of cropped jeans.  I can wear them three-seasons a year, and I like the look.  The next day I go to Bloomingdales and find a great pair of boyfriend-style jeans.  As an added bonus, all the jeans are 20% off.  I first put on a pair of slouchy jeans that fit well, but may be a bit too slouchy. After my old-lady shoe error last Saturday, I’m trying to be more fashion-conscious.  Next I try on a pair of AG (Adriano Goldschmied) jeans that fit beautifully but are more than a little distressed. I ask everyone I can find what they think and the consensus is, “Buy them.  You look great in them and they flatter your body.”  Here’s a photo (I wish that were me in them).

But then I worry that maybe these jeans look too much like I’m trying to appear young.  So I send M and Robyn a photo and ask them if I should keep them. 

M writes back; here’s the entirety of her email:  “No.”  Later, when probed, M writes, “These look ridiculous for a 60 year old woman. Unless of course, you live in Appalachia or on a street corner.”

Robyn calls with advice.  “They are too casual for a date (I don’t remind her that I don’t date) and too informal to dress up.  For the money, I wouldn’t get them.  You can’t even really wear them to a BAFTA screening.”  So, I decide to return them and start again.

Since I now know that the size 27, AG jeans fit me perfectly, I order three different styles from Zappos, hoping I fall in love with one of them. When they arrive, I discard two immediately.  One I consider, the Tomboy Crop, 15 Years.

I go back to Bloomingdales to exchange the jeans I thought I loved.  I find another pair that I like, and buy them (the Piper Crop-15 Years).  The pair that look the best (at least on the hanger) are missing my size. They are the same cut as the original jeans I like but without the holes.  These are called Stilt Roll-Up-19 Years (the number of years is for the wash on the jean, NOT the age you need to be to wear them).

I come home and call an AG store on the Westside.  They have the jeans I think I like the best, so I go over to try them on.  It turns out, I don’t like them the best.

So now I have two pair that I like, and I make Robyn the final arbiter of which to keep.  I model them both for her and she concludes, they both look great.  “Pick the one that costs less.”  I get the Piper Cropped Jeans from Bloomingdales and save $18.

The end.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I'm always picked (lyn)

Two days of bad eating.  A muffin and coffee for breakfast and a Fiber One bar for lunch.

Two days of running over to the Jil Sander 85% off sample sale.  I end up paying little for a black pencil skirt and a black “hammock-style” dress. 

Two days of sitting around catching up on reading.  I finish three old copies of PEOPLE, two issues of NY Magazine, and almost half of The Darlings by Cristina Alger (it’s great).

Two days of meeting new people from all different professions and backgrounds:  among them, an utterly obnoxious radiologist, a recently-graduated college student with a Masters in the psychology of jury selection, a sweet practicing nurse from Ireland, a non-stop talker, and a retired detective.

This is, I think, my fourth time reporting for jury duty.  Last time was ten years ago when I served on a grand jury for a month.  I listen to my friends tell their stories.  Two days or less and they are dismissed.

I arrive on Wednesday, and watch a twenty-minute movie about the process.  Harry Reasoner narrates.  I guess the process hasn’t changed much in the past 21-years; Mr. Reasoner died in 1991.  

The big waiting room is filled with maybe 200 prospective jurors.  19 names are randomly selected; mine is the 18th name called. We are directed to a smaller room where two lawyers greet us.  It is their job to select a 6-person jury for a trial.  Here are the basics of the case:  a man has been found negligent of a 2005 motor vehicle accident where a woman claims to be injured.  The jury will need to decide if the back injuries the women now suffers from were caused by the car accident, and if yes, do they meet the state’s definition of serious injury.  If the jury finds they do, then the jury will decide the monetary award, if any.

They lawyer questions us in order.  I am number 18 (of 19 in the room).  I am sure I won’t be called, as clearly there must be six qualified people among the 17 before me.  I expect the vetting process to be tedious and boring; it usually is.  But this group is vocal and contentious, and, the two lawyers appear to hate each other. Listening to the interviews becomes almost entertaining.

The group is asked to raise their right hands and swear to tell the truth.  One woman says, “I don’t swear to G-d; ” she refuses to be sworn in.  Soon after, another woman says she doesn’t feel it is her place to judge people.  Someone else is combative in her declarations.  “I think it is wrong to ask for pain and suffering.  People today sue for anything and everything.  Look, bad things happen to people.  And just because they do shouldn’t mean you can sue.”

In the end, I’m one of the six chosen. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

dinner at Marea (lyn)

Too bad Gail weren’t a guy.  I’d be in love.  She is the perfect date.  Thoughtful.  Generous.  Interesting.  Funny.  And full of surprises.  Tonight, in celebration of my birthday last month, Gail takes me to Marea for dinner.

I arrive for our 6 o’clock reservation (Gail made the reservation a month ago; anything after six and before ten was already taken).  Even for the early hour, the restaurant is starting to fill up.  It is sleek and modern, but the wait staff is surprisingly friendly and accommodating. 

Gail looks beautiful in a black dress that she unflatteringly describes as “a diaper dress,” named for the complicated way the dress is designed.  But it looks elegant and is not, in any way, suggestive of its name.  

As soon as I sit down, Gail explains the prix fixe meal we'll be getting.  Everything on the menu sounds exotic with ingredients I don’t know and therefore can’t imagine.  The waiter provides guidance, and has strong opinions about what to order.  His suggestions prove to be perfect.

For starters, I get some kind of shrimp sushi.  I have never tasted anything like it; it is divine.  And that's not because I drink two Cosmopolitans and my senses are heightened.

The waiter, without hesitation, recommends the spaghetti for the "hand-made" pasta course.  While spaghetti sounds like something I could even make, I certainly couldn’t make it with “crab, santa barbara sea urchin, and basil.”  It's unlike any pasta I've ever tasted.

For the main course, Gail and I both get branzino, served with "beluga lentils, cipollini onion, trumpet royale mushrooms, and red wine jus.”  It is hard to decipher most of the ingredients in the dish, but it really doesn’t matter; it all tastes great.

I order a skim cappuccino for dessert, along with a glorious lemon tarte, described as “sorrento lemon curd tart, ricotta gelato, brown butter crumble, candied rose.”  It neither tastes, nor looks, anything like the ones I’ve made.

But the best part of the meal is not what I eat.  It’s not the nice touch of the beautifully wrapped breakfast muffin we are given as we leave.  And it’s not the intrigue of wondering who the secret service men at the door are there to protect.  No, the best part of the dinner is unquestionably spending time with Gail.    And that is saying a lot, considering how exquisite the dinner is.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

couldn't resist (lyn)

Proof that Amercan diets are not the healthiest, I get this today:

David is being returned to Italy.

After a two year loan to the United States, Michelangelo's David is being returned to Florence.

But then, you have to wonder if eating healthy is a guarantee for looking good.

Here's a photo of 52-year old Gillian McKeith, a TV health guru.  She advocates a holistic approach to nutrition and health, promoting exercise,  a vegetarian diet, colonic irrigations, and supplements.

This is Nigella Lawson, also 52.  She is a TV cook who eats meat, chocolate, butter, and desserts.

Monday, April 23, 2012

wrong number (lyn)

It’s cloudy and blah-looking out.  I do some work.  I finish So Pretty It Hurts by Kate White (a quick read).  I organize some more.  I find and get the perfect earring jewelry box on Zappos ( with 35 compartments.  Finally, I can see the earrings I have, instead of trying to recall them from memory. 

I bring some shoes in to be resoled.  I feed my addiction for Words With Friends (zero ww points).  I’m currently in 22 games with 12 different “friends,” some I haven’t seen or spoken to in 15 years.  I must now know all the two-letter words in the English language, but have no clue what most of them mean.  Ka?  Ki?  Aa?  Qi?

And finally, I go shopping at Fairway.  I end up at the deli counter, and take a number.  They are calling number 85 and my number says 09; it doesn’t even look that crowded.  I figure people take numbers and then leave the area to shop for other things, but I’ve done all my shopping, so I wait.  Some have one or two requests while others seem to be buying for the Duggars.  I have lots of time to observe.  It seems like some people have arrived after me, never leave the area, and are now being helped, but I can’t be sure.   Maybe they are lying about their numbers since the people behind the counter don’t check them. But who would do that?  This is a nice Upper East Side neighborhood.  Finally I hear, “91.”  I say, “Right here,” at the same time another shopper says the same thing.  We take out our numbers to compare and yes, hers clearly says 09.  She looks at my number and without smiling says, “Yours says 091.”  The 1 is very light and I didn’t notice it.  I feel idiotic, and her look confirms it.

But still, the orzo with spinach and pine nuts makes it worth the wait.  I have that and grilled shrimp for dinner.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

knives and other things (lyn)

It’s raining today; a perfect day to clean and organize.  I tackle my bedroom.  I throw away books I’ve barely read (like David Pogue’s manual on Tiger OS---I’m three operating systems past Tiger, old photos that I now have on my computer, linen paper with my name and address on it from the days when you mailed letters and resumes, and even two old analog cameras. I even get out a stepstool and clean the top of my armoire.

As I’m finishing, I hear a bell ringing outside on the street; it sounds like an old-fashioned ice-cream truck, but it’s not.  It’s a man who sharpens knives.  I’ve heard him before and this time I decide to use his service.  I grab my 6-inch knife that was dull the last time I tried it, and run out in the rain to his truck. There I meet a smiling, impish older man named Dominick.  His truck is fully equipped with all sorts of knife sharpening machines.  I ask him if he really gets much business just driving around and ringing a bell.  He says it’s like fishing.  “See, here’s my bait (and he rings his bell).  I cast my rod and sit and hope.” 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

a memorial service, food and shoes (lyn)

Today is the memorial service for Zelia’s ex-husband, and the father of her two children.  Chico Anysio was a beloved entertainer in Brazil.  He created over 200 memorable characters, appeared in films, and was a composer.  When he died in March, his death was widely covered in Brazil.  Even soccer teams honored him by wearing shirts with his name.  Instead of standing for a minute of silence, an entire soccer stadium stood for a minute of clapping.

Zelia has chosen the Actor’s Chapel, in the heart of Broadway, for the service. It’s almost 100 years old and beautiful.  The service is flawless, the chapel is full, and Victoria, Zelia’s daughter, delivers a heartfelt eulogy.

After the service, a small group is invited to Sarafina’s, a nearby restaurant.  It is more festive than somber, and I think Zelia and her children finally have a sense of closure.  The food is excellent and plentiful, and I abandon any attempt to eat carefully.  I have a small piece of bruschetta, a few calamari, a bit of greens, and a slice of thin crusted pizza.  And those are just the appetizers.  My entrĂ©e is sage with butter ravioli, and dessert is more-than-a taste of three different desserts. 

Following the lunch, Brooke, Janice and I walk about a mile.  I am impressed with their ability to walk so far in four-inch heels.  I have changed out of my nice shoes into a lower-heeled shoe that two people comment on.  “They look dowdy; like something an old lady would wear.”   I decide they are right and will now toss them.  

I remember writing about these shoes when I bought them only two years ago.

The people at Harry’s Shoes convinced me then that since my body looked so good, no one would be looking at my feet.

Now I realize how little truth was in their observations.  I weigh about the same as I did then, and trust me, people do look at my feet and notice when they are clothed in granny shoes.

Friday, April 20, 2012

eating cheaply (lyn)

Lots of things cost lots of money in Manhattan. 

Because there’s not much space on this small island, real estate is exorbitant.  Finding a studio apartment in a decent building for under $2,000 month is difficult.  And if you want to buy a two-bedroom apartment, well, the median price for that is $1.65 million.

Movies are $13.50. Restaurants are expensive.  The subway is $2.25 and going up.  It’s hard to live here and not spend money.

But now that Fairway has moved into my neighborhood, I can have a great home-cooked meal for under $5.00, as I did tonight:

 grilled chicken breast:  $2.59
¼ lb. orzo with spinach and pine nuts:  $1.25
¼ lb. fresh corn salad:  $1.00

Total Cost:  $4.84

And, it was delicious. 

It makes me feel a little less bad about the new fan I got for my room.  But I'm hoping that cost will be offset by using my air conditioner less.

I'm still working on a justification for my new Ugg (Kayla) flipflops.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

sofa saga: the conclusion (lyn)

So here’s a brief history.

July 2007
After years of looking, I find the perfect sofa.  If it takes me weeks to find the perfect little case for my iPhone, you can just imagine the time that went into finding the perfect sofa.  But I did.  It was made by Ralph Lauren, was very expensive, but it fit all my criteria.  And so I bought it, along with some $350 insurance. 

I have no idea now why I bought the insurance.  I mean, it wasn't like the sofa was going to stop working.  Imagine calling Customer Service.  "Hi, I was wondering if you could help me?  My sofa keeps ejecting people.  It's not supposed to do that.  What should I do?"   But I did buy the insurance, and now, as it turns out, that was a wise decision.

October 2011
I call Bloomingdales as I don't like the way the cushions are sagging and spouting feathers.  I'm probably the first person in their history who has ever complained about stuffing, four years after a purchase.  But miraculously, Bloomingdales sends someone to my home, and they agree to re-stuff all five seat cushions and the six large back pillows at no charge.

January 2012
Bloomingdales Customer Service tells me, three months after waiting, that the vendor no longer has the “parts.”  The parts being the stuffing on a sofa Ralph Lauren still makes.  Not happy with their response, I talk to my favorite salesperson, Gerard, and he finds a way to get the order through.

April 12, 2012
Nine gigantic packages are delivered via Fed Ex.  Everything is tightly wrapped and bubbled.  I’m shocked.  I never expected this to really happen.

April 17, 2012
Randy from Bloomingdales comes to my apartment and unpacks all the pillows, takes the old stuffing out of the cases and replaces them with the new stuffing.  Now it looks like I have a brand new sofa.

I avoid sitting on my sofa all day.  I want to preserve its newness for as long as possible.  It’s like getting the perfect parking space and never wanting to move your car.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

bad eating day (lyn)

My day is planned around a 7 pm movie screening.

I want to walk today and decide early that I’ll walk to the theater, about 3.4 miles. I’m more motivated to walk when I have a destination.  So, to make a 7pm screening, I should be there at 6:30, which means leaving at 5:30.  I don’t want to have dinner at five, so instead I eat a late lunch---salad followed by a handful of chocolate covered pomegranates. 

I walk to the theater to meet Robyn, zigzagging through the city.  Before leaving, I grab a couple of things I purchased for the first time at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday:  dried apple slices and something called Bonola Bites.  These are small pieces of granola-like things, which, according to the packaging, are “Crafted Only With Your Good Health In Mind,” and are made “with absolutely NO artificial anything!”  Despite the odd name, they are amazingly good.

I pack a light dinner for me and Robyn…a bag of fat-free popcorn mixed with a ¼ cup of chocolate covered pomegranates.  The movie, starring Kevin Kline and Diane Keaton, is called Darling Companion. It’s dreadful.

I get home close to ten, starving.  The popcorn-candy has failed as a dinner, though it worked for tiny Robyn.  She’s done eating for the day, and I’m famished.  I heat up a bowl of miso soup, followed by a now favorite go-to food, a pre-packaged tub of 10-calorie-0-point-orange jello with a squirt of whipped cream.

I finish dinner around eleven.  Before crawling in bed I go online and cancel my reservation for tomorrow's screening, thus avoiding another 5 pm dinner dilemma.  And besides, tomorrow’s film is supposed to be as bad as tonight's.

rosle (lyn)

My kitchen is tiny, cheap and ugly.  The appliances work so my building won’t replace them, despite there being well-past middle age.  My cabinet doors are not evenly balanced but they do close, so those can’t be replaced either. This, anyway, is my justification for making sure that what goes in the drawers and cabinets, or on the stove, looks good. 

A couple of years ago I discovered the brand Rosle. It’s a German company that manufactures beautiful kitchen utensils.  Over time, I’ve bought:
  • A spaghetti spoon for the pasta I never make
  • A perforated spatula that I don’t think I have ever used
  • A slotted spoon that I frequently forget I have and therefor infrequently use
  • A ladle that I love
  • A bottle opener for the few bottles I need to open
  • A vegetable peeler 
  • An award-winning can opener that is mind-bogglingly difficult to use
  • An apple/pear slicer that makes the sliced fruit taste better, really
Last week I needed to open a can and the impossible-to-use-award-winning-safety-can-opener didn't work at all.  I was about to toss it when I decided to check Rosle’s website.  There I learn that all their products are guaranteed for life.  I love when this happens.

I call and am connected to Karen. I explain that my can opener no longer works.  “No problem.  Just send it back and we’ll replace it.”  The problem is that I don’t want a replacement; I want another model (the more traditional plier-shaped opener) that costs $8 more.  Reluctantly Karen okays the exchange and tells me she will call for my credit card information when she receives the peeler I am returning.

I never hear from her again, but today I receive my new opener with no upcharge.  Tomorrow I’ll buy a can of tuna and see if it works.  It takes so little to make me happy.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

good karma or something like that (lyn)

This morning Gail calls.  Before we hang up she says, “I am going to dedicate my yoga session to you.”  I assume she means that I’ll get the benefit of her workout without doing any of the work.   But I’m wrong.  Later she emails me:

I said the wrong thing --  my yoga practice today gave you my *intention* (kind of like dedicating one's practice) --  and the class was AMAZING.

This should be very, very good for you!!!!

It works.  Three good things happen to me today.

  1. I have a meeting with Zoe and she acts as if last week never happened.  To her credit, she pretends to like me, and the meeting is a highly productive and efficient done. 
  1. After my meeting I head over to nearby Century 21.  I’m hoping to find some basic work clothes, assuming optimistically I’ll be making business calls.  I whittle my choices down to eleven items, including three skirts (all size 6), one sweater, and seven blouses.  The final contenders are a black-on-black cotton skirt by Philosophy (di Alberta Ferretti), marked down from $450 to $139, and a white blouse.  I try both on twice.  I ask everyone in the open dressing room what they think, even those who appear to have bad taste, judging by the clothing they have chosen to try on.  Everyone agrees; the skirt fits well and looks nice.  It wows no one.  I then decide I really don’t need another black skirt and white blouse, regardless of how beautifully designed and price-reduced they may be.  I leave the store, two hours after arriving, with sore feet and my credit cards intact. 
  1. Before going home, I stop at 16 Handles for a late lunch and they have my two favorite sorbets:  mango and raspberry-pomegranate.
Thank you Gail for the intention.  Since it worked so well, can Alexander have some for his finals next month?

here's my email address (lyn)

I've heard from two readers and was deeply touched by what they wrote.  Thank you both so much for taking the time.  When you write a blog and you don't get comments, it's hard to know if what you're writing is something people want to read.  So when we do get comments, it means a lot.  The two I got were incredibly kind, but all comments are welcome.  

I've been told by some friends that it's difficult to write in the Comments section of this blog, so please feel free to write to me directly and I will try to post the comments myself.  Both M and I love hearing from you.  We truly take your words to heart.  Here is my email address, derived from an old boyfriend who used to tease me and call me lynstrom:

I hope to hear from you.

a great new film from a great new star (lyn)

Okay, I admit, I'm biased, but I think I can be objective too.

My nephew Michael moved to LA three and half years ago. Unlike his two brothers who have chosen Wall Street careers, Michael wants to be a writer.  I wrote about him before when he was one of the finalists in a 2011 Super Bowl contest for Pepsi Max.

Michael is different from the many young, talented, handsome, fit, recently graduated kids who go to LA and try to break into the business.  He doesn’t just go on auditions and seek out projects.  He creates them.

On a shoestring budget, Michael wrote, directed, and then starred in a feature film called This Thing With Sarah. The next big step is getting it viewed by the right people, which means getting the film screened at festivals.

Michael is resourceful, talented, and one of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet, very much like his brothers Adam and Jason in that regard.

Take a look.  Pass it on.  Even if I didn’t love and adore this movie’s star, I’d still want to see this film; it’s that good.

Have a seat.  Grab a cup of coffee.  Enjoy.  Any comments you send, I will pass onto Michael.

Monday, April 16, 2012

4.2 mile walk (lyn)

I decide I don’t look fit.  Perhaps because I’m not.  Underneath my clothes there is too much jiggling going on.

Today is unseasonably warm…almost 90 degrees.  The worst kind of exercise weather.  I’d rather it be 20 degrees.  But I feel the need to walk.  Well, actually, I don’t feel the need. I’m not at the stage of having to exercise because my body is telling me to; it’s my mirror that’s doing all the talking.

It’s almost two before I leave the house.  Instead of walking in the park, I decide I’ll walk along the East River.  If I look to my right, I see water, boats, bridges, and other calming visions.  To my left, which I try to ignore, is the FDR Drive. 

I walk two miles north, and it’s hot.  I tune up my Nano and tune out the cars whizzing by.  I’m about two miles from my starting point when I decide to turnaround.  The walk back is much harder, as the sun is much hotter. 

I arrive home exhausted and reward myself with a manicure/pedicure and skinny iced cappuccino.  I’m glad I listened to my mirror.  I'm sure it'll keep talking talking; I hope I keep listening.

readers, I need your help (lyn)

The name of this blog is Two Friends and A Diet. 

One of the friends (M) lost 70 pounds in year one, and has been stable since, though she still has about 50 pounds more she wants to lose.  The other friend (me) wanted to lose 40 pounds and did, but that was accomplished two years ago.

It’s obvious by now that M has lost interest in writing.  “I don’t have anything to say,” she tells me.  This is hardly true, as daily she fills me with stories that are blog-worthy.  Her other reason for not writing is a technical one.  She’s having trouble logging in, and neither of us can find a solution for that.

Given that my goal was accomplished two years ago, staying on topic has become increasingly difficult.  I mean really, does anyone care if I had a croissant for breakfast when I should have had fruit?

But the thought of not writing unsettles me.  Blogging has become part of what I do, and I like it.  I’ve thought about ending this blog and starting another one.  But I have no compelling topic to write about, though I’ve thought of many:
  • 60 and single (that’s not how I view myself, and besides, I’m 61)
  • a simple life in a complicated city
  • food, fashion, kids, and customer service (now there’s a compelling topic)
  • growing older (by definition everyone is, but who wants to write about that every day?)
And on and on.

In the past 30 days, people in 14 countries, representing all the continents except Antarctica, have visited this blog.  Readers from 34 states, dominated by New York, Massachusetts, California and Illinois, have seen our words.  So there must be something in them that makes this blog worth reading.  I’d love to know what that is.

Please comment on the blog in the Comments section and help me decide what to do.  I really care what you think.  Friends, and those I’ve never met, I want to hear from you. And who knows?  It may be the impetus M needs to start consistently writing again.  One can only hope.

I hate apple (m)

I am not an Apple groupie.  I buy what works, regardless of the brand name.  My Dell computer is on its last leg after 9 great years of service.  I will probably buy another Dell unless I move the ridiculously large Mac computer (which I never use) from one room to my office.  I doubt I will as the screen is too large.  If any of you want a second-hand Big Mac, write me.  It's for sale.

Yesterday, my husband and I buy iphones...the 4S.  I am dreading going into the Apple store with all those pretentious little sh-ts running around with their goatees and knitted caps.  Even their names are over the top.  The guy we have is named Hercules.  My husband asks if that is his real name. 

Hercules is obsequiously nice, but inept.  For example, after he goes through the spiel about the benefits of the 4S model (I was pre-sold and told him to get on with it) , I purchase the thing and THEN he tells me he can't transfer my current phone directory into the new phone.  Are you kidding me?  He says the machine won't do it.  I ask if someone else in the store can help.  "No....sorry," he says, insincerely.  I won't accept this answer.  I take the phone (which I purchased) and tell him I'll be right back.  I go out into the mall to the nearby Verizon kiosk.  I must have looked like Robert DeNiro in Raging Bull as I approach the desk because normal-named Jason there looks scared.  I explain my problem and Jason smiles and says he can do it.  And he does.  Little Jason at Verizon switches the phone directories in five minutes, saving me hours of work.

I march back into Apple and finish the transaction with the impotent Hercules.

One bad apple spoils the whole bunch.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

apple (lyn)

M needs a new computer.  She is debating between a Dell and an Apple.  Money aside, it’s like debating between a Ford and a Lexus.  I just don’t get it.

For the past few days, I have been having a problem with my Address Book.  It won’t open.  I’ve had my computer for almost three years, so I am under Apple Care for a little longer.  I call Apple.  Get a nice and helpful guy to help me, but he can’t solve the problem.  So I go online and make an appointment at the Genius Bar (yes, I agree, this is pretentious-sounding) for today. 

I get to the store a few minutes before my scheduled appointment and there is no wait.  Another helpful guy takes over.  Within fifteen minutes, my problem is completely solved.  It costs me nothing.

How can anyone not love Apple?  Plus, everyone knows that apples are good for you.

coffee (lyn)

I don’t really know what good coffee is supposed to taste like, and I struggle to make the perfect cup.  I have been trying out different blends at Fairway, and this week I’m making their Italian Roast.  Eileen has provided me with the perfect-sized plastic scooper, and, after much trial and error, I use one scoop per carafe cup plus a little more.

This morning I have an early-morning appointment.  I stop in a little bakery in Grand Central to pick up a cup of coffee.  I know that many places, Starbucks for example, let you add your own creams and sugars.  But a lot of places, like this one, and even Dunkin Donuts, don’t.  The very-helpful and gracious barista has trouble with my request for a cup of coffee, “on the dark side.”  Admittedly, my request is a little vague.  I feel like Goldilocks…the first try is too dark, than too light, and finally just right.  Amazingly, the sweet barista keeps smiling and apologizing, though clearly she’s not to blame. 

Then I have an idea.  Wouldn’t it be great if there were a standard definition to light, medium, dark, and the shades in-between? Someone should create a color chart, like the ones that exist for hair color.  Let’s say it’s five different shades from dark brown to light tan.  And let’s say that all baristas are trained to know that shade two, for example, translates exactly to 3 tablespoons of half and half, 2 tablespoons of cream, or 6 tablespoons of milk to achieve that color.  Buying coffee in the morning would be much easier and faster.

“Hi, I’d like a medium coffee, shade #2 please?”  And then what you’d get would be exactly what you want. 

bread (lyn)

Passover for me usually consists of two secular Seders on nights one and two.  This year, for inexplicable reasons, I decide to modestly observe by not eating bread.  It shouldn’t be that difficult, and it isn’t.

For the eight days of Passover, I pretty much skipped breakfast, which is fairly typical, so not eating bread in the morning was easy.  For lunch, I mostly ate one of three things:  soup, salad, or yogurt.  I missed having tuna on pita, but the sacrifice was a minor one.  Dinner was fairly easy.  When I’m eating at home, which I did all week, there is no temptation to eat bread.

Now if I were really observant, I’d have eaten on different plates, and had a home devoid of all items containing barley, wheat, rye, oats, and spelt.  I didn’t do that, but I did do something.   The potato latkes, chocolate jellied candies, and the 7-layer-for-Passover cake balanced out my lack of bread.  I started and ended the week at exactly 123.2 pounds.

Today I have a scone for breakfast.  Perhaps I should think in terms of Passover being a year-long holiday.