29 June 2005

I've got nothing to say...except:

1- Ito En makes some fabulous iced teas! I was taking a mini-trip with some friends to South Street Seaport on the weekend and discovered a shop nearby called Pica Pica (which apparently means Sparkle). It was kind of like an upgraded version of Samurai - all kinds of low-priced Japanese/Chinese items as well as tea accessories. I was pleased to note they had a whole line of Ito En iced teas for $2 or less. I tried the apple flavored black tea. Amazing. It tasted like apple cider with a kick. The best thing was that it wasn't too sweet - just enough so it wasn't blah. I've had Ito En's green iced tea before. It's good to me but as it's unsweetened only purists would go for it.

2- Sunday was the perfect day for the beach. I was at Robert Moses, which isn't too crowded. My only issue was the lack of fresh air. While trying to take one of those perfect beach blanket naps, my lungs were rudely interrupted by second-hand smoke. I wanted to confront the smokers but did not know the policy of the beach. After all, it was outdoors, and there are few places left for smokers to indulge my habit. But I like to breathe sometimes. Isn't it enough that I inhale city air nearly every day of the year?

3- Three weeks without eBay. Does that make me clean and sober?

23 June 2005


Since I have Fridays off, Thursday is it for me! That's probably a good thing, because I've reached my cranky breaking point. I had one of those days when everything I wore seemed to have issues. It was cold in the office, so all my rings were falling off my fingers (I have tiny fingers, unlike the rest of me; well, my wrists are small too.) Also due to the jacked-up AC, I had to wear a dumpy sweater over my otherwise pretty outfit. My skirt is a knee-length wrap, so any breeze hitting me on the street gave the general public a slight peep show. It also gives one knee a disproportionate draft in the office. My shoes are nice, but a little big, especially in-
you guessed it - my cold office!!!!!!! They also dug in in spots, which I remedied with some band-aids. Finally, I have a bad hair day. Maybe it's time for a cup of tea! On a day like today, though, I'll probably spill the tea on my skirt, which, I neglected to mention is a wrinkly linen. Smile!!

21 June 2005

Mini-trip #2

I haven't been able to go away since April since I'm absolutely broke, but I had at least one "mini-trip" that was enjoyable. On Friday I went with a friend to Long Beach, Long Island. We took the train (LIRR) and the journey was approximately 40 minutes long. The train was full of teens that looked like they wanted to pose for a beach feature in Seventeen magazine, as well as a group of what looked like Bolivian soccer enthusiasts.

The weather was a bit mild for swimming, so we basically relaxed and drank in the sea air. I tried to read, but the sun was rather bright. Note to self: wear contact lenses and shades next time. My hat wasn't shady enough. When I got some energy, I took a sprint along the coastline. There is something about that mushy sand by the coastline that is conducive to running. Once that was out of my system we sat around for a while till we were hungry.

The beach was not so crowded, as it was technically a weekday, so it was all the more pleasant. The train ride home was not as pleasant as a rather portly man nearly sat down on me. My friend couldn't look at me or she would have burst out laughing, and I lost all claims to elbow space. I guess rudeness is not confined to subway trains.

Still, it was all in all a fantastic day, comparable to a beach vacation in many ways excluding the drinks perhaps.

16 June 2005

The Latest

Nothing really new or special actually went on this midweek. Then again nothing horrendous happened to me, so who can complain? Here's my Thursday rundown:

  • I saw Batman Begins last night. It was pretty good. Christian Bale is a believable Bruce Wayne, and a raspy Batman. Morgan Freeman was a tour de force! I just like saying tour de force: I forgot to ask someone in France what that means!
  • I've been off eBay for a week. Shopaholics around the world know what a great accomplishment that is.
  • Haagen Dazs now has a little item called the brownie bar. Chocoholics around the world know I couldn't turn it down. It's decadent and quite ungraceful to eat at a reception desk. I recommend it, but I'm sure in a few hours my tune will change.
  • Speaking of chocolate, I saw the trailer for the new Willy Wonka movie. Normally I look forward to Johnny Depp movies, but this looks downright creepy! He looks and acts so bizarre; kind of like a nightmare I would have after indulging in Haagen Dazs brownies late at night. If Batman wants to put fear in the hearts of men, he should tote Mr. Wonka around in his utility belt.

Nothing more to say...at this moment anyway.

13 June 2005

Perfect Match-a

The highly expensive Matcha tea I purchased over a week ago is also highly difficult to make. I followed the directions in my green tea book, but found I had to improvise as time went on. First of all, the water has to be a specific temperature, so I had to watch the pot for the right size bubbles. Next, I realized I did not measure properly - Matcha is so concentrated that the average spoonful creates a sludge that screams radioactivity. Or at least food coloring. Plus, I used the whisking implement that is supposed to make the tea come out frothy on top. It was a sad display at best.

After numerous tasting and tweaking, it finally came close to what I'd hoped for. At that point, though, I was past my caffeine limit of the day. In the evening I was under the constant impression that New York was experiencing an earthquake. The things we do for perfection...

I think next time I will buy the next highest priced Matcha, and probably it will go to making the shakes and drink blends that looked so pretty in my book. I'm not hosting a Japanese tea ceremony anytime soon, so there is plenty of time to practice for authenticity.

08 June 2005


I received a comment on one of previous posts that pointed out an error. Apparently I wrote "costed" instead of "cost". How embarrassing. I am such a stickler when it comes to spelling and word usage, "but now I've gone and thrown it all away," as the song says. I don't care, I'm still going to correct other people's errors. You can do the same to me; I don't mind.

By the way, check out my picture on Marie's "brattyblog." I'm the blonde chick with the hat on. In this picture it looks like I'm the Ginger Ale Queen of Astoria. Usually I'm critical of my pics but this time I was quite pleased with my posture. How regal!

07 June 2005

These are a few of my favorite things....

Since most of my posts have been complaints, I thought I'd write a few things that I actually do like:

1-Jelly beans - I never buy these because if they are near me I will eat an entire bag. I especially like the gourmet ones with the crazy flavors.

2-Devon/clotted cream - This is of course tea related. Nothing makes a scone like some of this stuff smeared on top of it. I don't care about the calories!

3-Overweight cats - Something you can really hold on to.

4-A really good entrance - In a theatre or concert, when a performer comes on stage at just the right moment, with a crescendo of music playing hopefully by live musicians. Of course this only works if the audience is with it.

5-Lush - The best shop in the world, all over the world. A feast for your nasal passages!

6- The New Book Smell - Crack!

7- Karaoke - I should devote a whole post to this. The only thing Karaoke bars are missing is a means to make a really good entrance.

This is not an exclusive list; I have other favorites. More to come in another of my good mood days...

06 June 2005

Come On Already!

Here's more things that annoy me, and they are both subway related:

1- I hate when people near me on the train decide to yawn without covering their mouth. Everyone does it, but I'm referring to the ones who continue doing it after the first one escapes their mouth. It's just wrong! Most people have at least one free hand they can use to cover their mouth.

2- A girl sat next to me this morning on the train and commenced eating a breakfast sandwich. The smell was revolting, especially first thing in the morning! Come on, guys. If you really have no time to eat anywhere else, bring something unscented. One of these days, the smell may induce me to be sick on the floor of the train, and then you will know what it's like to be thoroughly grossed out first thing in the morning.

03 June 2005

Book Review #1

Since I read soooo much, I thought it would be good to write about some of my favorite books. Or if it wasn't worth it I'll mention that too.

What better way to start than with a tea book? Here's just one I've read recently: New Tastes in Green Tea by Mutsuko Tokunaga. As you may have deduced by the author's name, this book mostly covers Japanese green tea and its history, practices, rituals, etc.

Of course there are plenty of books regarding this subject, but this one was quite helpful. I learned about different types of green tea and the best way to make it in order to achieve its ultimate flavor, what times of day to have them and with what kinds of food, and health benefits. My favorite part of the book was the recipes. There are new ways to drink iced green teas, including cocktails. One recipe combined Sencha, one of my favorite green teas,with vodka - my favorite liquor! New ways to get jittery and toasted at the same time! There are also different kind of dishes and pastries that can be made with green tea, and this is also included in New Tastes.

After reading this book I went out to Ito En on Madison Avenue and bought one of their finest Matcha teas. It is also one of the most pricey kinds of tea, but I think it will be worth it.

02 June 2005


Here's one thing (among many) that really annoys me:

Sometimes when I go to purchase an item in a shop I like to give exact change. I don't want to keep the line waiting, but if I know it'll only be a few seconds, I give it a try. Or maybe I'm pulling out a credit card. I really don't take that long, honest! For some reason, though, cashiers are increasingly impatient creatures. I can't help but notice when the tapping begins. Their index finger, or sometimes a few of their fingers, tap, tap, tap on the counter until I procure my payment. I find this to be the most irritating habit, worse than anything my cat does while waiting to be fed. In fact, when the tapping begins, I have started a habit of my own. I slow it down. This explains why I don't drive. Can you imagine what would happen if people honked at me?