Sunday, September 25, 2011
It was my husband Mr. Mark's birthday this past Thursday. Usually, Mark and I don't make a big (if any) deal about the days we were born, but since he has been under the weather for the last couple of weeks (about six), I decided to go a little above and beyond.
So, I got him two gifts and planned one of our "Adventures in Antiquing" for the weekend.
I gave him the first gift on Wednesday night. We went to an awesome restaurant in Summit called The Huntley Taverne. The look & feel is very Arts & Crafts and the food is local, which makes it seasonal.
We had a wine that we had never tried before but was excellent, Clos Blancheau, James Berry Vineyard, Paso Robles ‘09. It had a lightness in color and wasn't buttery which is perfect, because I like chardonnay, but I don't love it, and it can't be yellowy, or I won't even like it.
In any case, after we had a couple sips of wine, I gave Mark his gift: A 5 day/4 night trip to the Cayman Islands in November. He was in shock and I had never planned anything like this without him, so it was a new experience for us but one that went very well (so far, I'll let you know more after the trip). See him in shock above, and understanding what is happening below.
I gave him his second gift on Saturday. I will be writing a couple posts on our "Adventures in Antiquing" weekend, so I'll keep this story short.
Mark's second gift was a Bank in a Form of a Pig from Areaware and designed by Brooklyn based designer Harry Allen.
Mark is notorious for letting his change drop all around the house, so after 12 years of that I finally found a great place for him to put his change--and got a gifting opportunity out of it too.
Lucky for us this piggy bank holds up to $10,000 in dollar bills, but I think Mark will have it filled with change within six month. Happy Birthday Mr. Mark!
The game was a week ago, but I'm just getting to my post now--as I watch our Jets play Oakland on my 52 inch Samsung in the only carpeted room in our house--otherwise known as OHIO.
Yes, we named the back room of our house, Ohio, because it is super comfy with oversized furniture and a big screen TV. Every house in Ohio has a room like this--sometimes in the basement sometimes not.
In any case, last Sunday was a perfect day for a football game. We tailgated and made friends, and shared chili-cheese fries during the third quarter.
I got a ton of compliments on the shoes I wore that day. A pair of cream and brown Bass saddle shoes so I decided to take a picture when I was in the stadium and share.
It's now 3rd & 9th, in the second quarter, NYJ14-OAK7.... got to go :)
A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend a book reading--it was actually more of a discussion really--at Words Bookstore in Maplewood NJ.
The book being discussed was Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms by Carmela Ciuraru and the people doing the discussing were Carmela and Christopher Healy, a local author who will be dropping a series of tween books in the Spring--it also turns out that Carmela and I have worked together in the past and Mr. Healy attends my church, the Unitarian Church in Summit. It's a small world out in Jersey sometimes.
Now back to the book: it's basically like a series of mini-bios on writers who used pseudonyms. Some of the writers are more famous than others. For example, we all probably know that Mark Twain is Samuel Clemens and vica versa, but did we know that Sylvia Path and the Brontes had all used pseudonyms as well. I had no clue. And, until I read the book, I didn't know that the name George Orwell is a pseudonym.
All very interesting! Here is my question though--should a name matter to us the reader? Was it my high school teacher's duty to let me know that Charlotte Bronte was Currer Bell? It shouldn't change the reading experience but it does. I really don't think I would have loved Jane Eyre and if a guy had written it (sorry guys).
In fact in the case of the Brontes, their stories and their lives were somehow intwined into the entire Bronte mythology of lonely souls walking the moors.
After reading Carmela's book I now understand that pseudonyms DO have deep-seeded emotional, psychological and sometimes even physical impacts on the lives of the writers who use them. If you want to find out how. Go read the book! After that we can discuss.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Mark and I have season tickets to the Jets games. There were a couple reasons we decided to take the plunge and get the tickets, one of them being that my grandfather Butch had 8 tickets since the time the team was the Titans and they played at Shea Stadium.
Needless to say, when the new stadium was built and PSL's where introduced those 8 tickets went away.
Last night's game was a special one, because of course it was Sept. 11 and there are few things more "American" than football.
We left for the game around 4:30 but didn't get there until 6 pm. There was extra security and every truck and cars was being searched. The dogs were out!
Mark made blue-cheese hamburgers and we heated spinach and artichoke dip up on the grill. Usually we make a lot more food but since the game didn't start until 8 PM on Sunday night and we'd already had a full weekend, we decided to keep it simple.
Lady Antebellum sang the National Anthem and George W. Bush was at the game. He came out on the field for the coin toss. I was proud of the fans because they stood and clapped for "W." He might not be my favorite president but he deserves respect. I felt a lot of national pride last night.
The game... we won, the Jets beat the Cowboys, but it wasn't pretty and it felt like Revis was one of the only players out on the field--Holmes looked frustrated.
The lights were dimmed for half-time and a tribute to 9/11 was performed including a voice over by Robert De Niro, who was also at the game, he also appeared in the pre-game show.
For a full read-cap of the game, read the Daily Fix in the Wall Street Journal.
As always I'll end with a picture of my favorite, my husband, Mark.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
My sister Caitlin was born on Sept. 11, 1988--I was 15 years old.
Ten years ago, when she turned 13, my husband Mark and I were with her, Kyle and Stitch out in Arizona. Since then our parents were divorced, our mother passed away and Caitlin , Kyle and Stitch came to live with me and Mark.
There is so much to say but for now, let's celebrate! Yesterday we had a brunch with strawberry shortcake from Natale's Bakery in Summit.
We had broccoli & cheese quiche, ham & Munster cheese on croissants--as well as lots of yummy sweet buns.
Amy came from Brooklyn & she brought the champagne.
The best part was that we surprised Caitlin with a dinner at Sayat Nova Restaurant and Hookah Bar last night.
Happy Birthday Caitlin, God Bless America and 9/11 We Will Never Forget.
I can't remember the last time we actually took a vacation during the summer. We seem to reserve vacations for sometime between January and May, the perfect time to get away from the doldrums of winter in New Jersey.
Our summer weekends usually consist of cookouts and day trips. This year out goal was to find a beach that would welcome our little dog Stitch--and we found a close, beautiful, beach, less than two hours away--Island Beach State Park.
The best part of Island Beach State is that it is a State Park, so there aren't any "snack stands" or restaurants near by, it was almost like "Day Camping." We got up early brought food and shelter for the day and hiked out onto the beach and set up camp.
The dunes are pristine.
Our awesome day shelter--otherwise known as "Bully Hill on the Beach."
The summer of 2011 may be over, but we are looking forward to going back to Island Beach State Park next year.
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