Friday, March 31, 2006

This Shirt is Genius.

I was wandering around on and found this on a t-shirt. It's genius and I think I need to buy it; I'm also putting the vendor's link here (the shirt is also hyperlinked to go straight to the detail page) so you can check it out. I have made all two people in my office hysterical and have merely confirmed that yes, I'm going to Hell in a handbasket of my own weaving.

Stacey, methinks I see a birthday gift for your Nonna in the making...

Thursday, March 30, 2006

I've Been Published!!!

I am so excited! e-mailed me to tell me they've published a few of my tips/essays that I've submitted!

Learning to Sing a Lullaby, 80's Style
Ornaments to Mark the Years
How Do I Stick to a Healthy Eating Plan?

I'm kind of freaked out, I never expected them to print my stuff. But wow, what a rush!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Non-Food Rewards!

So, to reward myself for breaking through my ennui and finally knuckling down with Weight Watchers and sticking to the Self Challenge for 6 weeks (I need to update my stuff on the site, too), I went to Filene's with my mom at lunchtime today. I was fully intending to buy myself a cute new bra because they have the Elle Macpherson Intimates line there - which is adorable stuff, by the way - but let's just say that I don't think their sizes are realistic. I believe the famous Psalm in the Bible used the phrase about cups runneth over? You see where I'm heading.

Luckily, on my way to the fitting room I spotted a DKNY rack. I cannot pass up a DKNY rack - I've tried many times. There were adorable denim capris (which on me are cropped pants) and they were very reasonably priced. Tentatively, I picked up a size 10. I noticed the magic word "stretch" printed on the label and figured it was worth the gamble.

How much do I love Donna Karan for making jeans that take a woman's figure into consideration? I may be getting a little crazy here, but I would dare say I love her more than I love Lindt truffles and peanut M&Ms. That's how much I love her. And that is a whole lot of love.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Self-Challenge, Week 6

So I'm in week 6 of the Self Challenge and I think it's going very well. I weigh in tonight at my Weight Watchers meeting, so we'll see how well. My clothes are getting a little lose, so that's nice! I've been working out an average of 3 times a week; sometimes more, sometimes less, but I have pretty much been hitting my Self goals (last week I stumbled a bit on the weight training).

Points-wise, I'm still struggling but even when I veer off, I journal it and I feel okay. Again, mostly hitting the mark but the late night snack attacks still hit. I try to just keep drinking water and not thinking about it, but every now and then I just grab a yogurt and try to be done with it.

Didn't work out last night - had a lousy night at school - but I did do the math and discovered that I actually walk about 2 miles every Monday. I walk from work to school, which is apparently a little over a mile; then I walk to the train station on West 4th over by the IFC movie theatre from school, so that's an extra half mile. So at least there's something. I'll work out tonight, though - I need a cardio and weight workout to stay on track. I'm determined to finish this Challenge, and now that I actually see things that look kind of nice in the mirror, it's much more of a kick in the rear to stay on it.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Just got a new book to review called Winkie, by Clifford Chase.

From glancing over the back cover copy, it's about a teddy bear who is arrested under the Patriot Act under suspicion of either being a terrorist or collaborating with one.

I gotta say - I think this is going to be a goodie. Any back cover copy that includes a sentence like, "...this small, brown creature of indeterminate gender gets trapped in the jaws of a society gone rabid with fear and paranoia" is a book that demands to be read. That, and the fact that I love teddy bears and know in my deepest heart that toys really do come alive when you're not looking, just like in Toy Story.
Because this stuff is just fun...

I get this book e-mail called Shelf Awareness. It's newsy and fun, and gives you a lot of info for free. Author appearances, new books, some industry dirt, bestseller lists, you get the idea. I was reading my daily issue and noticed that it seems that our "tell us what you know about your friends" e-mails have now transcended the business; they had some fun ones that I thought would be fun to post here. Copy and forward or post where you may. (BTW - these are my answers, not some big publishing muckety-muck.)

On nightstand now:

Winkie by Clifford Chase, Queen of this Realm by Jean Plaidy, and the new issue of Self magazine. Oh, and an old issue of Family Circle Easy Knitting - I'm working on a sweater.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Grover and the Monster at the End of the Book. No substitutes.

Top five authors:

I like Christopher Moore a lot lately, Anne Rice pre-"Lasher", J.R.R. Tolkien, Aristophanes (no, I'm not just saying that to look brainy - you read Lysistrata and tell me you don't almost hemorrhage because you're laughing so hard) and since I just read his second book and loved it, Brian Sloane.

Book you've "faked" reading:

Pride and Prejudice and The Old Man and the Sea.

Book you are an "evangelist" for:

I would give out free copies of Brian Sloane's upcoming "Tale of Two Summers" to spread the word about it, because it's really funny.

Book you've bought for the cover:

I think most of us buy books for the covers, don't we? But I'll say the latest "24" paperback because Keifer's on the cover. :-)

Book that changed your life:

Days and Memory by Charlotte Delbo blew me away. I read it for a Comparative Lit class on Women & War, taught by a woman who came to America as a refugee child from France during WWII. Her series of recollections from people who survived WWII are unbelievable, especially "Kalavrita of 1,000 Antigones," where the women of a small Greek town remember the day the Nazis came, locked them in a church and wiped out all the men and elderly in the village. When one woman describes how the town clock stopped that day and how no one ever changed it, so the clock to this day shows the hour that the Nazis came, I was numb. Unbelievable.

Favorite line from a book:

I'll go the geek route here - "Nassssty little hobbitsessss!"

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Wuthering Heights by Charlotte Bronte.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

What in the Blue Hell...?

Linda usually handles the media gossip in our sisterhood of blogs, but I have to post something about this. An artist has created a monument to Britney Spears giving birth nude on a bearskin rug. WTF???

"Momument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston" apparently is a tribute to Britney's putting her pop star career on hold to embrace motherhood. Um... it's a little easy to put your career on hold when you're in your early 20s and worth MILLIONS (it was gajillions, but K-Fed is going through her cash faster than I can tear through a bag of Nacho Cheesier Doritos).

I don't know what pisses me off more - the tribute to freakin' Britney (do we want our daughters to aspire to white trash?) or the "Monument to Pro-Life" title.

Wow. I'm really irked. I think I need to go drink some coffee so I can rant on this properly.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

New LOST Tonight!

Well, the planets must be aligning because FINALLY, we're getting a new episode of Lost tonight. Hands up, who thinks Sun will be pregnant and have another island baby? Who thinks Jin will be the next one killed off?

I haven't had a chance to watch this Monday's 24 yet - hoping to sit down and watch that tonight. Will they kill off more of CTU? I still think they should have had the blasted cougar eat Jack's daughter back in Season 2, because even in a 2-episode appearance, she's as annoying as ever. And man, did Tommy Howell get old looking. I remember when he was Ponyboy back in 1984, I was in love. There was the unfortunate Soul Man movie a few years later, but regardless, he was pretty cute for a while there.

Still coughing and dealing with the annoying tickle in my throat, but I'm alive and back at work.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


One big drawback to working from home is that the world is my candy dish. I have just inhaled a LOT of granola. Urp.

We just did the Staff Appreciation lunch at PS 139 today and I can't believe how much food there was. After feeing about 100 teachers and staff, there was still an incredible amount of food left over. The parents that did this last year made double the food, but we had double the parents this year - at least 80 dishes including entrees and desserts.

My mac and cheese went over pretty well, but the ziti cleared out more quickly. Still, when kids were dribbling in while their parents went to the conferences, it seemed to pick up more.

The teacher conference went well, Will got a great report card. Now we're back at home while he watches Chicken Little and I try to put together an ad. And gorge on granola.

There is something to be said about the joy of working from home. I've been working since 7:30 this morning because I have no irritating commute, and have a lovely, hot second cup of coffee steaming away under my nose. I feel so productive, probably because I haven't had the aggravation of rushing to wake up, shower, get dressed, get Will to school, and get on the fresh hell that is the NYC transit system. I love flexibility in the workplace. Any workday that allows me to get work done while I'm cleaning my apartment is a good day by me.

Monday, March 20, 2006


Since my last model went over so well, I decided to use her again to model the poncho I made for Keira.

I was on an adrenaline rush after working out too late at night again, so I whipped out the size 15 needles and the Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick yarn (I've been trying to work down some of the insane stash I've accumulated - so I can buy more yarn, of course) and went to work using a pattern from Yarn Girls' Guide to Kids' Knits (I've created a link on the side). After I was done, I opted not to do the fringe because I'm panicky like that about babies, but I finished it by doing single crochet around the neck and bottom with some leftover lavender Velvet Spun (another Lion Brand yarn). Voila!

Month 2 of the Self Challenge starts today, and I'm psyched because I'm still on track. Whoo hoo! Having a Weight Watchers buddy definitely helps, so if Karen falls off the wagon I'll have to track her down and beat her with a Balance bar.

I'm home sick today because my children are out to get me. If Will coughs on me one more time, I'm going to have to put him in solitary confinement. With my luck, his cold will mutate into bubonic plague.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Saturday Morning...

...and I'm sitting here, second cup of coffee just finished, listening to the sounds of my children trying to kill one another. Actually, they are battling superheroes, but with all the screaming, you catch my drift.

Have to go shopping for the big Staff Appreciation Day lunch on Tuesday at PS139. Parents volunteer to make lunch for the entire staff at PS139 - last year we had about 70 parents making dishes, this year we've got about 100 which is just great! My baked ziti went last year, which made me feel good. This year, I'll be making baked macaroni so I've got to get the aluminum tray and all the ingredients today.

I think I'll put Will to work this year since he's getting dimissed early so the teachers can enjoy the festivities before going to Parent/Teacher conferences. We need people to hand out the gifts to the staff as they come in, so I'll put him on bag duty. He'll get a kick out of it.

I'll finally see Keira today, so the onslaught of pictures will begin! I'm already searching my magazines and books and websites for the next cute baby pattern. I'm also trying to find something to make the boys. Alex has requested a "great, big, GIANT blankie" so I want to find a fun pattern. Will doesn't like sweaters that much, and the alien illusion scarf I made him a couple of years ago was too long. Maybe I'll make a shorter version.

I've got knitting fever. I think I have spring fever, I just want to do all these projects at once - renovate my apartment, knit an entire wardrobe of clothes and accessories, and read every book in my home. I think I need to narrow down...

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy Saint Patty's Day!/P.S. 139 PSA

As I sit here in my pink shirt and white tee, I wish all of you a Happy Saint Patty's Day. Alas, I wore my only green shirt that was work/weather appropriate earlier this week, so I will doubtless get a good-natured whack from my Irish mother when I meet up with her for lunch today.

I also completely blanked and sent Will to school in a bright red shirt. So I told the Parent Coordinator that my ginzo half dressed him this morning.

By the way - I have a special PSA on behalf of P.S. 139. The President of the Parents' Association has set up a new website for the school and included on the website is a shopping portal. Every time someone makes a purchase at a vendor linked on the school's website, the school receives a kickback of 3% - 6% of the sale. It's a great and easy way to raise money and it doesn't cost you a cent. There are lots of vendors and we're adding more every day, so if you happen to need something from,, or any of the vendors listed - there are a lot! - please think about going through the site to place your order.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Keira's Debut

Heeeeeere she is! Little Keira and her mommy for all to see. And let's all take a moment to wonder how the heck my sister-in-law, Julie, manages to look like this after giving birth. After I had my two boys, I looked like someone beat me about the head, neck and chest with a brick. So I'll sit here in envy and fascination. :-) Thanks to my sister-in-law Bonnie for the photos!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Four Meme

My friend Carol e-mailed me this, so I'm going to post it here with my answers. Take and forward as you must:

Four jobs you have had in your life:
1. Model agency gofer
2. Gal Friday for consultant
3. Research Support Administrator
4. Marketing Manager

Four movies you would watch over and over:
1. Dodgeball!
2. The Empire Strikes Back
3. Dogma
4. GalaxyQuest

Four places you have lived:
1. Elmhurst
2. Woodside
3. College Point (shhh-only 8 months)
4. Rego Park

Four TV shows you love to watch:
1. Battlestar Galactica (old and new)
2. 24
3. Iron Chef America
4. Lost

Four places you have been on vacation:
1. Sweden
2. Costa Rica
3. Dublin
4. London

Four websites I visit daily:
1. The Superficial/Go Fug Yourself
2. Linda's blog
3. Stacey's blog
4. Lauren's blog

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Steak w/noodles and brown gravy
2. Quesadillas w/sour cream
3. Pasta
4. Chicken with curry over brown rice

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Dublin
2. Costa Rica
3. Toronto
4. Sweden
Knit Set

Okay, here is the set I worked on and posted in its earlier form. Notice that yes, I finally did sew the sweater together! My photo of the button detail is not posting correctly for some reason, but yes, they are daisy buttons.
Baby Keira's Arrived!

Keira Elizabeth Kiladitis has arrived! I don't have all the details yet, but I do know that she is 8 pounds, 6 ounces, and has blonde hair and blue eyes. I assume mommy Julie and baby Keira are doing fine, and that Daddy George is in the delusional fog of joy that most new dads experience. More news as it comes in.
Niece on the way!

My sister-in-law, Julie, went into labor at about 4 this morning. George (my brother-in-law) called as I was leaving for work to report that she was just given an epidural, so hopefully before the day is out, I can report on the status of my brand new niece (and yes, I'll get the photos of the finished sweater and hat I made her up). Here's hoping for an easy and uneventful birth and a happy and healthy mom and baby!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Amazon Issues...

So the book links that I put into my blog text isn't linking to Amazon - WTF is that all about? Anyone? The search box and the picture box are fine, but the text links - nada. Zip. Argh.

Okay, I'm going to try and fool about with some stuff.

Friday, March 10, 2006

I Am A Blogging Fool Today.

Making lots of updates and changes to the blog as I learn things. Today, I decided to become an Amazon affiliate, because I figure I talk about books and movies a lot. So now, if you order any books from Amazon through my little humble website, I'll get a little "thank you". So don't hesitate. :-) I'll even post links to books I'm checking out at the moment below the Archives, so you can indeed judge a book by its cover.

Now, I understand that many of us hold the Barnes & Noble membership card. Not to worry, I'll be working on that one next. I want to try to organize my links a bit, so it doesn't look like a bunch of crap thrown on the site.

Does anyone know how I can get more space between my links? Doesn't seem like a hard return is working when I'm in the template.

It's a beautiful spring day, my office is filled with light, and I'm sleepy. I feel like a cat, like I should curl up on the window sill here and fall asleep. I swear in my next life, I'm coming back as a cat.

I have to pick up US News & World Report, there are several really interesting publishing articles in there. James Frey's million little lies have thrown the industry into such a tizzy that it's unbelievable. I almost have to ask how much of a part Oprah plays in this, because I feel like her crusade to humiliate James Frey for embarrassing her has had repercussions throughout the industry. Oprah made herself a lightning rod, in my opinion - she was out there saying that she picks these books, and you should listen to her because she's freakin' OPRAH, for goodness sakes, and when it turned out like it did, she had a huge amount of egg on her face because all these housewives in Middle America were like, "Well, Oprah told me to read this, and it was a lie! We're going to have to do something about this!"

People, just pick up a book and read. The guy was fulla crap - I'm not condoning it, but for heaven's sake it isn't like we just found out that The Diary of Anne Frank was completely fabricated. It's a book - let it lead you wherever it wants to go, and when you're done with the journey either walk away from it or just look back and say, "Wow, that was good. I'd like to visit there again someday."

On another note, my friend Greg Herren's new book, Mardi Gras Mambo, is out! Hot cover, juicy story - check it out!


Okay, so anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE the show 24 (I also love Keifer Sutherland, but that's probably a different post entirely). I scream at the television when those numbers show up at the end of every episode, leaving me on yet another cliffhanger. My husband and mother have both commented that between Lost and 24, I'm probably going to have a stroke sometime soon.

So - this is a spoiler for anyone who hasn't seen this past 24, who is waiting for this season to end so they can just buy the season on DVD, or who's under a rock.

(scroll down)

THEY KILLED EDGAR. EDGAR! The lovable computer geek whose mom died in the nuclear terrorist attack during last season. Who saved the United States from a nuclear holocaust at the end of last season. EGAR!

Terrorists (Russian, this time) release toxic nerve gas into CTU (Counter-Terrorist Unit) headquarters. People are choking, the main characters (mostly) get into lockdown to protect themselves. And who do we see wandering, lost, just as the gas reaches full saturation? Edgar. He stares at Chloe, fellow computer geek, who's safely ensconced in a safely sealed room with Keifer. (Chloe, I have to say, has the worst facial expressions ever - she always looks like she's about to say, "HARRUMPH!" very loudly.) He looks at her, with this sad pathetic puppy face and says, "Chloe!" before dropping dead near his workstation. HOW COULD THEY DO THIS?

So let's bow our heads and observe a moment of silence for Edgar. And because I'm a complete and utter geek, take a moment to view his Wikipedia page and pay your respects.

Freakin' 24 - they kill off President Palmer in the FIRST episode this season (yes, I know, Dennis Haysbert is now in a new series on one of the other networks) and now Edgar. This trend of killing off beloved main characters on my favorite TV shows is exciting but at the same time, hell on my central nervous system. Cheez.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Lauren's Got Me Hooked Again...

First it was LibraryThing, now she's got Stacey and I on this DollMaker site where you can make a doll of yourself. Yahoo is also doing something like this for their account holders, but this is much more fun and allows you to save the image afterward.

I still haven't gone out to lunch. I think I'm lazy. I need someone to drag me away from the warm comfy desk into the cold, cruel world and make me walk.

I'm sticking to points again today after a little bit of a bender at my mom's this weekend - her place is the final frontier; I fall victim to the many goodies she has laying around every time. First, there was the PayDay incident (not this weekend), where I cleared a Duane Reade candy-aisle bag of Paydays (peanuts and caramel - it's pretty close to God) before the night was out. So Saturday, the bill of sale included a mini-bag of Cadbury mini-eggs (my annual addiction - thanks, Easter Bunny!), 3 Lindt hazelnut truffles, a handful of jellybeans, and some myriad M&M peanuts. Unbelievably, I didn't go over points in too heinous a manner because I had eaten pretty lightly throughout the day - which explains the sugar binge in part. So I worked out like a fiend when I got home, sticking to my SELF magazine challenge, and hopefully evened out the damage.

I am doing pretty well into my second week of SELF challenge. The only time I ever completed the entire 3-month challenge was when I was pregnant with Alex - I am damned if I won't finish it this time.

Okay, I'm going to take a quick run outside for a little bit. Now I've motivated myself all over again.
Baby Clothes!

So I finally finished the sweater and hat set that I made for my niece-to-be. Whew! I honestly didn't think I was going to finish it because of my legendary loathing of the sewing part of knitting, but yes, I sewed the final (daisy) buttons on the sweater the other night. Photos to come. I'm actually pretty proud of myself; it looks very cute. Now I need to learn how to line clothes, because I was thinking that the sweater and hat would be adorable with some jersey knit lining.

Alex has demanded a "big, giant blankie!" so I need to start scoping out some more yarn for that. He's informed me that he will donate his current blankie to Bubba Bear, his beloved teddy bear. I'll believe that when I see it... Of course, hearing that I was about to embark on a knitting project for Alex has prompted Will to mention that he could certainly use a new blanket himself, even though I just made him the "Halloween blanket" (he requested black and orange yarn last time) last year. Not that I mind - I love making the boys things. I think this time, I'll actually try a blanket pattern from a magazine rather than just through a stockinette/garter mix together as I've done in the past. (Admittedly, Alex's blanket is technically a pattern, the "Big Bad Baby Blanket" from Stitch 'N Bitch.

Speaking of Stitch 'N Bitch, I just saw Deb Stoller's new book on crochet, The Happy Hooker, in Barnes & Noble last week. So I think the next paycheck may involve a field trip. Maybe I'll finally get some crochet down after I read it, because my crochet needs some serious help.

Anyone know if I can become a B&N or Amazon affiliate? I link a lot in these posts.

I think I need to feed my magazine addiction at lunchtime; perhaps I'll provide a knitting magazine review when I get back.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Blow Out Returns!!

Yes! I saw a poster in the train station today - my guiltiest of guilty pleasures, Bravo Network's Blow Out, is returning for a third season on March 21st at 9. Whooo-hoooo!!

I know, it's completely vapid; everyone is totally self-absorbed to the point of mania and Jonathan Antin should be on meds to even himself out. I think he cried in almost every show last season. Ain't it great?

Bet that I will be DVR'ing this baby. I can watch that and my Judge Judys when my husband and children are asleep and can't ridicule me. Me and my giant bag of 99% fat free kettle corn (4 points a bag!). And coffee. Lots of coffee.

Stop mocking me, dammit. Stacey, this means you.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable. And yet, not...

I have friends that lost a great deal in New Orleans. They're rebuilding their lives, and sadly, waiting for FEMA checks that of course, the government has screwed up the process of distributing. People died in New Orleans. Innocent animals died, not able to comprehend what was happening to them. Babies died. The elderly died, and in a final indignity, were left to rot in wheelchairs, the only testament to them being their photos spreading like wildfire on the Internet - that alone, a silent indictment of how badly the Bush administration mis-handled this.

I got the following from I'm so disgusted I can't even editorialize.

"This evening, the Associated Press released secret transcripts and video footage showing President Bush being personally briefed the day before Hurricane Katrina hit land. The predictions he heard were shockingly precise and accurate—including the failure of the levees. He knew exactly what was coming. The article is a smoking gun on Bush's unpardonable failure to keep us> safe. In just a few hours, the White House will be filling the airwaves with spin, so it's important to reach out right now to pass on the straight story to family and friends. If each of us acts, we can directly reach millions of people before morning. The full AP article is attached below. Can you help get the word out to at least 5 friends? You can forward on this note or follow the link> below:>>>> At the August 28th briefing, the president was told exactly what to expect:

• The chief scientist of the National Hurricane Center warned that a major levee breach was "obviously a very, very grave concern." Bush lied to the entire nation about this point just 5 days later.

• Michael Brown told the president that if New Orleans flooded the Superdome emergency shelter would likely be under water and short on supplies, creating a "catastrophe within a catastrophe."

• Experts and officials implored the President to prepare for, as the AP described it, "devastation of historic proportions." President Bush didn't ask a single question during the briefing. In the next two days he campaigned, attended birthday parties and played guitar while the worst natural disaster in American history killed over 1,300 people and displaced hundreds of thousands.

There can now be no mistake: President Bush had a chance to lead, and he failed to keep us safe. In the next few days, we'll be tracking this story carefully and> coordinating our response with partners in New Orleans and around the> nation. The survivors of Katrina deserve to know why the president left them to suffer the storm. And the people of the United States deserve> leadership we can trust to keep our families safe. We'll work hard together until we have both.

Tonight, let's start by spreading the word:>>>>

Thanks for all that you do,
—Ben, Nita, Tom, Jen, Adam R, Justin, Adam G, Eli and the whole Political Action Team
Wednesday, March 01, 2006