Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Just say no... Christmas shopping!

Well, you don't have to. But we are! We are turning a new leaf this season and not buying any gifts. None. Not even for each other. We are also requesting that no one buy gifts for us. Instead, we have chosen two charities that are near and dear to us:

1. Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. This is a truly awesome place that any animal lover is bound to fall in love with. It is one of the biggest no-kill animal rescue organizations in the country and they do much to help homeless pets of all kinds from all over the place. We will be donating with pride and hope to this organization. Please take a look at their website... if you feel so moved, you can sponsor a pet in need for only $25. That's nothing! You don't even have to give up your whole holiday budget like we are. Every little bit helps.

2. The St. Bernard Project. My boss, a lover of all things New Orleans, turned me on to this organization. This husband and wife team are making it their mission to rebuild the hurricane-ravaged Gulf, one house at a time. Visit the website to see how each and every dollar you donate goes toward specific building materials. It's amazing how little it actually takes to get a family back into a house. And as a side note, my boss and her husband are collecting donations and traveling down to New Orleans in February to lend their labor skills to the St. Bernard Project. We are donating to this charity as well. For those who might not know, my family has some serious connections to New Orleans. My paternal grandparents were both born and raised there, as was my father. We still have tons of extended family in the Gulf and believe me, that area still needs all the help it can get.

So, there you have it. For those on my holiday card list, you'll probably get a repeat of this info with your Christmas card. Just trying to spread the word and hopefully inspire some more people to give these groups -- or to any group that they feel is worth helping.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Cue Winter

Thanksgiving is near and winter is here. There's a "feeling" in the air outside... the sort of quality that comes along with hunkering down with warm afghans (blankets, not the dogs) and drinking tea. I've released the puffy orange coat from the closet cave and even though it's tight, it should fit for most of the winter.

We ordered "Turkey Day Dinner for Two" from Whole Foods so we don't have to cook. It comes with turkey breast, smashed potatoes, green beans, apple crisp and some other goodies. If I never have to cook another turkey as long as I live, I'll be a happy woman. Why should I do it poorly when others can do it so well? So I plan on getting up early, watching the Macy's parade on TV and then watching the dog show to follow. I will then turn my oven on and warm up my gorgeous, pre-made, $42.99 Turkey Day Dinner for Two. Perfection. The only thing better would be to be in California with my family, chaotic and loud and just like you see in Thanksgiving-esque movies.

I've not been enjoying my daily subway rides lately... usually I like to watch the parade of humanity and I like that part of being in New York is riding the great societal equalizer, the subway. But lately it seems like it's been annoying, screaming school kids and bad smells. Vomit on the train floor and people with bad attitudes who refuse to take their feet of the seat so I can sit down. I think I am overly sensitive, but I just am not into the daily grind of it all lately.

I am, however, into the idea of going to see the Rockefeller Christmas Tree and going ice skating in Prospect Park. I am into the idea of Christmas-looking (not shopping) and generally making the best of the city during the Holidays. We are going to try a new thing this Christmas - we are not buying gifts for anyone (except some kids in the family) and instead are donating our entire Christmas budget to two charities that mean a lot to us. I'll go into more detail later, but one deals with Gulf Coast Recovery and the other with (of course) animal rescue. If you are interested in matching our donation to one of our selected charities, let me know!


Monday, November 05, 2007

Past few days...

This will be a "blogging random" type post.

1. I saw a pigeon with one foot the other day. Like one orange bird foot and one pirate-like stump. He was doing okay, though, just hanging out at the Smith/9th Street train station and looking for food. I don't hate pigeons like most people do. I'm okay with their dirty little existence. It's not like they mean to be dirty.

2. Yesterday was the New York City marathon. It comes right through Greenpoint (mile 12 out of 26.2) and we stood at the sidelines and cheered for the runners. It was pretty cool when Darth Vader, Leah, a Wookie and a Storm Trooper all ran by together (in full costume.) Most people have their names on their shirts so you can shout for them, so I spent a few minutes yelling "Go Tony!" and "Go Katie!" at people I didn't know. They were nonetheless appreciative.

3. We went to the MOMA to see Georges Seurat's drawings. They were stunning. Most were done in black conte crayon and it was absolutely bewildering what can be achieved with shadow and light on a simple piece of paper. I was inspired. I was also inspired by our visit to the MOMA museum cafe, which is one of my favorite food places. Crazy, I know. But it has such treatsy food and my mouth is watering even now just thinking of that hearts of Romaine salad with sun-dried tomatoes and toasted pine nuts. Mmmm.

4. I spent yesterday evening trying to make a stuffed raccoon. It was difficult because the fabric was stiff and didn't want to turn right-side-out after I was finished sewing. The finished product is not as cute as the example here. (I was making Clauss the Raccoon as a sample for our craft store. I though we needed an actual sample.) You should check out the rest of the website though, cause it has super cute stuff.

5. Not sure if you all know this or not, but I am officially "with child", as they say. Whoever "they" are. I'm somewhere around 13 weeks (like 3 months) and we're excited to raise a kid in New York. Who needs a backyard when you have the Museum of Natural History? Who needs money when there are hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans waiting to pay for a private school education? Who needs a real bedroom when every other kid in Brooklyn lives in a room the size of a shoebox? Despite the rigors we face, we are happy and hope for the rest of the pregnancy to be easy. We'll freak out when the child actually arrives and we have to pretend to know what we're doing.

Thats' all the news that's fit to print today.