Thursday, September 25, 2008

Good for a "laugh"

Every day in the paper we feature a few interesting blogs, and we found this one today that I think if I had not had to actually work I could've spent the whole day laughing at. My fellow grammarians will love it. Enjoy.

The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks

The Starbucks Phenomenon

Feel the need for a cup o' joe? Running short on cash? We have a solution for you — visit a church. During our church searching here in New York, we have racked up at least seven (maybe more, I've lost count) $5 Starbucks gift cards as a "thanks for visiting us" gift from churches. And those are just the ones we actually filled out welcome cards for. Apparently there is some correlation between God and expensive coffee. So the next time you need a Nonfat Caramel Vanilla Soy Mocha Latte extra cream no sugar on the rocks shaken not stirred etc. etc., find God first. He'll make it cheaper.

P.S. Somebody call me when you find a church that gives out Chick-fil-a gift cards.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sleeves and socks

I did something today I haven't done in months. ... I wore long sleeves! And it was great.

Today Scott and I made a trip up to the 5th Avenue Apple Store. We walked in and right out again. There's a reason it's open 24 can't get in the door for about 18 of them. So then we went into FAO Schwarz, which is next door. Scott hadn't been there in a few years, so we just meandered around a bit. But the best part was when a little girl totally showed up a grown man on the huge floor piano (you know, the one from the movie "Big"). The man made a complete fool of himself in his socked feet, jumping all around to no particular tune, and when he was done, it was the girl's turn, and she gracefully stepped onto the first few notes of Beethoven's Fur Elise ... to cheers from the crowd! The tune continued as we walked away. Sucks for you, grown sock-footed man. Completely hilarious for me!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Hi, this is Stephanie. I can't come to my blog right now. See, only 2.5 people leave me comments and so I don't have much motivation to write. So if you want me to get back to it, leave me a message after the beep. —BEEP—

Friday, September 12, 2008

9/11: The Silence

This morning as I was getting ready for work, Scott and I were watching a program on The History Channel called "The Day the Towers Fell," and it focuses on photographers who were at the World Trade Center on 9/11. So, many of the frames are their own photos. But one thing from the program struck me. One of the photographers running from the falling debris took refuge in a nearby church. This church.

That I walk past every day. It's right across the street from Ground Zero. It's just amazing to see the buildings and landmarks in their photos that I pass without a thought on my way to work every day. But today was different. Today I gave it a thought.

But the most eerie thing about today was the silence. As I came out of the train station at the World Trade Center: silence. As I walked up the path to the street: silence. As I made my way through hundreds of people on the streets of New York: silence. Usually there's the roar of the buses, the honking horns of taxis, construction noise, vendors yelling and people chattering. Today, nothing. The street in front of the WTC site was closed to traffic today, lending to the quietness. But even the people were solemnly quiet. They seemed to whisper. Many snapped photos. Many just stared. What do you do? What can you do?

I promised more photos, and here they are.

The same flag I took a picture of yesterday

"To transform days of tragedy into days of happiness, days of anguish into days of peace. Never Forgotten 9/11"

Another flag, in front of the church

World Trade Center site at night (the flag is hanging from a crane)

Tribute in Lights (it took me 70 photos to get two decent ones)
This one from Wall Street and Broadway

This one from Jersey City

I can't say that in the last few years, I've been too affected by the anniversary of 9/11. But you cannot ignore it when you live here. I will always remember September 11, 2001. And I will always remember September 11, 2008. This year, it's personal.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I was sleeping. I didn't have class until 12:30. The phone rang. She said a plane had flown into the World Trade towers in New York. Turn on the news.

It's been seven years since then, and I never thought I'd be living in New York, walking past the exact site every day. It's been fascinating to watch the events leading up to the anniversary in this city. The number of police on the streets has multiplied dramatically. Streets near Ground Zero are blocked off for no apparent reason. The plaza I crossed on my walk to work has been taken over with plastic tents and what will apparently be a stage. Signs and posters have started appearing in remembrance of the victims and the civil servants who went in after them. It's a more somber attitude in the city these days.

When you walk past Ground Zero every day, you tend to forget it's there, stepping over the tourists who are trying to look through the fences on your way to work. But this week it's been hard to ignore. And I'm posting this at 1 a.m. on Sept. 11, so I'm interested to see what it's like on my way to work later today.

There are signs of hope and progress though as builders finally make headway at Ground Zero.

I tried to take a photo of the construction from the train station, but it's hard to do with the screens.

Coming out of the train station

This was hanging outside the train station today

Where the towers stood

But so far my favorite part has been the Tribute in Lights. Hopefully I can get pictures tomorrow night. For some reason, it's just such a powerful image. Looking at photos of it is one thing. But standing beneath them, knowing what happened in that spot, it's something else.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The only thing I can cook

This is one of my favorite snacks, and if you ever come over for dinner, chances are I'll be making it then too. (Warning: This is not a low-fat recipe.)

Twice-Baked Potatoes
Russet potatoes
Sour cream
Cheddar cheese
Bacon bits

Preheat broiler to low. Wash/scrub the potatoes. Get out your aggressions and stab them generously all over with a fork.

Stick potatoes on a plate and microwave about 3-4 minutes (to cook 2-3 potatoes). Turn potatoes over and cook another 3-4 minutes.

Once they're done, slice potatoes longways into halves. Use a spoon to scrape out potato innards, leaving a thin layer of potato inside the skin. Put the innards into a bowl. Here's where it gets inexact: Add butter (about 1 tablespoon per potato). Add sour cream (about 3/4 tablespoon per potato). Add handful of shredded cheddar. Add some bacon bits. Add a little bit of milk, careful not to use too much or your mixture will be too watery. You can always add more. Add salt.

Mix and mash with a fork (or tool of choice, although I don't see a spoon working too well) until fairly smooth.

Put the potato skins on a baking sheet. Spoon mixture back into skins. Top with more bacon bits and cheddar cheese. Stick under broiler for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melty and may start to bubble and brown (you've added cold ingredients so they need to get warm again). Remove from oven and sprinkle with a little more salt.


Time: About 30 minutes. Makes: 2-4 potatoes

Friday, September 5, 2008


The Democratic/Republican conventions are OVER! Now, I'm not gonna get into politics here, being the good objective journalist that I am (at least, that's my excuse), but I'm glad for them both to be done. Conventions and later-than-10 p.m. speeches mean late nights when you work for a newspaper. Late nights for two weeks. Straight. So Republican or Democrat, I hope you got your fill, cause I know I got mine. And maybe enough for the rest of you.

Are the elections over yet?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Suggestion box

I'm taking suggestions for new blog posts. I've currently run out of ideas and I haven't bought a new bag or taken pictures of my walk to work lately. Although I am still happily having an affair with my husband.