Monday, October 31, 2005


"Claire! We only have another year and a half to eat the rest of New York!"

---Staci, on how busy we gots ta git in order to give fair attention to all the deliciouso restaurants up in dis!


Smack! Swack! Splat! Schmmack! Thuhdd! Thunk! Thuksh! Smugghhkkhhh.

Well here's the thing. I can't quite get my onomatopoeia right.

A squirrel fell from a tree today- about a 25 foot drop I'd guess- and just kind of clunked, cludded, schmatzed on to the pavement. It was really quite scary. The sound was... well it was indescribable!

I thought for sure, in the instant that I had to form a thought, he must be dead; I expected to see squirrel guts all over the place. But nope! That little guy just flipped and flailed right over to his feet and ran straight back up the tree (not without first surveying the scene to see just how deep his embarrassment should run).

It was a bonding moment for the 20 or so people sitting on benches surrounding the tree. Most of us sat shaking quietly with our mouths gaping wide with laughter, while others just looked up and tried to trace that poor undoubtedly injured fellow.

I bet Cousins would have been wowed at his resilience.

Pickled Adventure.

Yesterday Staci and I took about a 2 hour walk around the Lower East Side.

HOLY CRAP I love this city! Really, it is so wonderful! I wish all of you out there could experience it! There are just so many amazing and cute and enderaing little plazes, and you can just walk forever and never get tired of the sights you get to see!

Our ultimate desination was pickles- we were on a mission to get some pickles from Gus, one of the two pickle makers still left in the city. We got some from another guy because of a mix up, but we found Gus's on Orchard, and so we will be back!

Here's a picture of me with our container of pickles- tear!
This is actually an aweful aweful picture, but there you have it!

Pickles are good. The Lower East Side is good. New York is mui excellentay.

Saturday, October 29, 2005



It was a bit rainy, but there we were- trekking down to French Roast for a fab Brunch! I had a great time at Bible Study this morning, Stac got her workout in, and then we headed off! We ate a nice brunch at one of our faves we haven't been to in a year, and then we headed uptown to the Museum of Modern Art!

We hopped off the orange line at Rockefeller center and strolled along 5th avenue past St. Jaes and St. Thomas Cathedrals. We enjoyed the aura of 5th ave in midtown, and turned on 53rd to greet out museum adventure!

12 dollars later we were inside the ol' MOMA, ready for some awesomely modern art action.

It's really a great museum- though it comes in a distant second to my all time favorite museum in the history of the world- the Tate Modern in London. If you go to London you MUST go there. Anyway... I can't help but get a little excited as I wander through halls of artists I recognize and have learned about. And then all of a sudden there it was- Starry Starry Night by ol V. Van Gogh. Holy Crap.

It's not like Big V is my fave or anything, though that is one of my faves of his for sure, but it's like- WHOA. There are so many reproductions of that thing- everywhere- and I didn't even realize that we had it here! THAT was exciting!

There was another one of those crazy walk-on-able pieces like there was at the Tate, which totally blew my mind (I'm not sure I blogged about that, but you should ask me about it- it was just so cool!), but you couldn't walk on this one because it was made of lead and we all know what lead can do...

Some real cool Roy Lichtensteins, Pollocks, Warhols, Matisses, two super famous Klimts, one Wyeth, and much much more! It was SO fun to go and just wander around! We onlly had about 2.5 hours, and that was not NEARLY enough time, but we definitely enjoyed it.

I also discovered another photographer I really like- Robin Rhode. Go check out the website, or see if you can google him- he's really cool and seems to have a great sense of humor!

Here are 2 pictures- one of Stac and Josh in front of a schedule board like the ones in Italy (even "Partenze" is in Italian! it really took us back- made us all long for Italy!) and one of me! Sorry, there was a bannister behind us so we couldn't get the whole board in!

After closing down the museum we headed to the 5th ave H&M for some shopping. This picture is of me and the totally super awesome coat/shawl/sleeping bag thing that Josh spotted and made me try on. And boy was I glad he did. I've never felt more beautiful! You better believe I snatched that thing up before it flew off the shelves!

After that Stac and I headed back to the Union Square neighborhood, and opting for a taste of suburban sprawl in city context, we ended up at Olive Garden for dinner! I ordered my first glass of wine! Hooray!

This is Staci enjoying the white chocolate raspberry cheesecake.. mm mm good. $70.00 later, we're back home, well fed, and we're off to Josh's room to meet up with him and a few other folks to watch "Silence of the Lambs".

Yeah yeah, "Clarise", I know.

Don't forget to set your clocks back!

Google World!

Totally awesome!

Staci and I had a great time in our geek goggles at the movie last night- Shop Girl. That one will make you want to go home and make love to your husband. Or at least be held by him. Or potentially both.

Then we came back and listened to the slow and sweet sounds of the BSB (inspired by a video of two chinese boys lipping to "I Want It That Way") and took a virtual tour of our worlds courtesy of Google Earth. THAT was good times!

This is Staci being super happy about Google Earth.

This is me gasping and pointing in awe of Google Earth, oh fantastic thing that it is!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Bowery Ballroom.

Last night We Are Scientists rocked the Bowery Ballroom just off of Bowery on Delancey. They were SO good. Elizabeth and I worked the Merch table and sold a lot of stuff. Here are some pictures.

Ian and eliz at the Merch table.

Look at how cool- he can palm the belly!


And here we are- modeling the beautiful merch table wares!

It was a GREAT concert! Go to the blog below this one, copy and paste the address in to your browser, and vote! Even if you already have! Go again! And AGAIN!

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Please GO to this link and VOTE!

If everyone who reads this blog goes, they'll have like 3 more votes-heh, and who knows what else! Send that address to all your friends, and vote more than once PLEASE! PLEASE follow the link or paste it into your browser and vote AT LEAST once! THANKS!



Today was a good one.

I spent the first 4 hours with friends from Navigators- learning, being challenged, listening. Pretty great.
I had Italian- it went by fast, and we reviewed a hard tense that I think I'm on the verge of understanding.
I came home and did some homework and ate some lunch, and then laid down to take a nap on my super comfortable bed with my super soft blue blanky that my sweet sweet friends sent me!
15 minutes later I awoke to the sound of jazz trumpet drizzling in through my windows- floating is a better word. I lay there with my eyes closed just savouring how simple life is- and realizing that there are few things I love more than being awakened to the sounds of the city (just as long as it's not at 4am....).

Cheers to my buddy in the park playin' it with soul.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Holy crap guys, I officially have friends coming to visit me! This is amazing. AMAZING!

Thank you two for making plans to come out- and then following through! I think I still won't believe it until I see you here, but you've got the tickets, so that is already pretty mind-blowing! HOORAY!!!!!!!!

I can't even express it!


I had several moments today that made me Laugh Out Loud.

I love those instances- where you're walking and something catches your eye or you just think of something and can't help but just kind of bust up laughing. Whatever it is- that funny thing that pops inside your head- just gets you right in the chest, and then all of a sudden the laugh is bubbling out of your mouth before you can hold it back.

It usually starts with a little cracked smile, and before you know it you've got the open mouth laugh, and then you're without an option but to smile- cause now you've laughed, you've laughed by yourself with no one to technically laugh at, and you have realized that most likely the 10 people in a 10 foot radius heard you, and probably got a good silent chuckle out of your performance.

I love that feeling. I love being the weirdo who is just wandering down the street with squinty eyes and hair spinning around my face with the wind, being totally serious- and then all of a sudden there I go breaking my street face in favor of a little moment only I understand.

Maybe what I love most is that I find humour in a lot regular things, and so this happens to me a lot- it reminds me to relax and stop being such a freaking psycho New Yorker girl. And I also love that I have people in my life who say and do things that leave me laughing by myself on the street hours-days-weeks-months later. Pretty great.


My sweet parents sent me 2 dozen roses on my birthday.

Our heat has turned on- there is no way to cool the room, and the heat is usually on full blast. This will undoubtedly be the subject of a post to come, but for now- just take a look at this picture, and see what the cruel oppressive heat has done to those beautiful roses!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

MMM, Soup.

I love soup.

Especially on rainy days.

I look forward to eating that soup you make, Mom. It's really good. It's more like a stew or something, right? But it's so good. It reminds me of family and good memories and being warm and safe inside.

I've eaten soup a lot lately- I never really was much of a soup lover. I bet you I've had soup at least 7 times in the last 10 days.

It's rainy today, so soup is perfect.

I suppose that's all on soup!

E Train on the R Track.

I entered the Union Square subway station and hustled down the stairs to the downtown NRW subway stop. After about a five-minute wait, longer than usual for the yellow line, an E train pulled up ready to take the downtown bound passengers south. The E train has a much gloomier appearance with its long gray benches, unlike the Broadway line’s bright yellow and orange seats. I sat next to a twenty-something woman and settled in for my ride all the way to the tip of Manhattan.

As I sat there, zoning out as I stared straight ahead, my attention was captured by a pair of people sitting opposite me on the bench. A high-pitched strained voice squealed, and a man’s laugh rattled the car. I glanced over at the pair and observed a black woman and a white man, probably both middle aged, rocking back and forth with amusement. The woman had a bandage that covered the area between the bridge of her nose and her upper lip; it looked as if she may have had plastic surgery or sustained an injury.

The woman was wearing all black except a white wife beater peaking through her button down black collared shirt, white socks, and of course the dirtied white bandage that wrapped her nose. When an a cappella group boarded the train and began a rendition of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” she giggled with delight and they both shoved a dollar into the brown paper sack that was traveling the car, though it didn’t appear that either of them had money to spare.

The woman was rambunctious, and she kept asking why the E train was running along Broadway. The man would explain to her, in a slightly irritated tone, that “I already tol’ you, thuh E is runnin’ on thuh R track, but we’re goin’ downtown, and it stops at whitehawl.” She didn’t seem to grasp this. After asking him several more times, she received a “yuh such a stupid bitch,” and a roll of his eyes. This didn’t phase her- it looked as though this was a normal exchange between the two siblings of the underground.

The other passengers in the car were clearly uncomfortable. The man who was seated on the woman’s right had moved to the other end of the subway car; he had chosen to stand rather than sit by the two rowdies. A pair of strangers on the bench to the left of the duo discussed the annoyance that these friends were causing to “the rest of us.” I felt the discomfort creeping in from my toes- the parts of me that were nearest them- but I couldn’t move, it would have been rude.

After my observation of the other passengers I noticed that the pair was each diving into their own little carry-on to grab a brown paper sack and take a swig from its canned contents. Ah, it made sense. The man smacked his lips with pleasure and continued his lecture; “The president stays at the Whitehouse, but did you know he buys the food? Did you know he pays the help?” The woman sat quiet for the first time the entire ride and sipped her beverage from a straw.

“What time is it?” her hoarse voice croaked.

The man looked down and opened one dilated eye as wide as he could, staring at his watch for a moment. He visibly deflated.

“Never mind what time it is. Who cares what time it is. I’ll get you home.”

I wondered at this pair- I even had to remind myself not to stare, not that they would have noticed. Where were they headed? Where was home?

The subway stopped at Whitehall Street, I came above ground to be greeted by air fresh off the Hudson. I glanced at my watch to see which ferry I could expect to catch- the next one would leave at 11am.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Sing Along.

Staci and I used to have sing alongs all the time. And tonight we revived that practice. And it's a good thing.

Just get the lyrics to Boyz2Men's "I'll Make Love to You" wrapping around your brain, and then take a look at these precious moments caught on film.

You know there's video, don't even worry about it.

I Like Being The Girl.

I like being the girl.

What do I mean?

I like that I am the girl. Even with friends- I like it when a guy opens the door for me. I like that kind of protective look over the shoulder when we're milling through the subway station through crowds- when a guy checks to make sure I'm still with him. I like it when he gestures for me to go first, or when he stands when I'm coming back to the table, or when he helps me down from somewhere high. I like when he walks between me and traffic, "'cause that's just the way I was raised" and I like that he waits for me to order first.

Maybe I sound silly saying these things, but recently I have been hyper aware of the differences between men and women, and particularly how I behave as a woman, and what I expect from myself and the women and men around me. It's not that I expect a man to open the door for me everywhere we go, but I enjoy it when it happens. And I hope that he'll let me open a door for him once in a while. I don't feel frail and incapable of finding my way around, but I like when instinctively a man is protective of me, whatever role I play in his life. Is that weird?

And in a less platonic way, there are other things I like about being a woman. I like being escorted- when the man leads- whether it be dancing, walking, whatever- I like that. And I guess that can apply to a friendship- NOTE TO ALL MEN: When dancing LEAD- just do it, even if you have NO idea what you're doing! Ok sorry... that's just one of those things. But more specifically, when there is "more" involved... it's good to be led. It is nice when contact is kept- when he ushers you into a room with his hand on the small of your back (ahh, that's a killer), or he insists on opening the door even though you're holding it and he does that annoying thing where he holds it open above you and waits for you to let go and walk under and THEN he walks. Not that that should happen all the time, but you get me.

I don't know- there are lots more things. I like being the she- it seems like a good thing. It's fun, and it's nice, and it seems natural most times.

So thanks to the men who make me... ahem... glad to be a woman.

[yeah, i actually did just type that. Just go with it... trust me. hehe.]


Last night after church I met Ian and Elizabeth for dinner on the Upper East Side. We ate at a place called Divino's that was pretty good! It is an Italian place, and the owner is truly Italian- he showed me a picture of his two sons after asking me "are you engage?" and then tried to get me to choose a son to marry.

Ian and I got some homemade raspberry moonshine made by the owner at the end of our meal. It was real good- tasted like raspberries! Here's a picture of us:

And here are two cute ones of I and E:
This one is Ian making his scary fan face- whenever he takes a picture with a fan in the UK that's the face he's wearing... poor fans!

And here's a real one- thank goodness!

It was a real fun night!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

For the Record.

I feel very strongly that everyone understand that I did not exceed my limitations on my birthday. I was not drunk, stumbling around, unable to remember my name of those of the people around me. I was not blurry, I was not slurring, I was not loud and obnoxious any more than I usually am. As my dear friend Dan said, "my spirits were lifted."

I enjoyed my beer and being legally able to drink, but did not get drunk> I know most of you don't care, but it is important to me that that be known!


Ellis Island.

I had to go to Ellis Island for an assignment. On the way I had a great view of ol' lady Liberty- she's quite beautiful, really!

It was raining and yucky out, and surprisingly enough the tourists were not kept away. So I stood in line, and stood in line more, and then got on the Ferry. About an hour and a half later I had seen the sights, set foot on Ellis Island (for about 20 minutes- I was not up for the museum tour, so I figure next time anyone is out here that wants to go I'll go with them and do the whole shebang... or go on a non rainy day... history buff- you'd love it), and then returned to the big island. I really do love this city. Here are a few shots from the trip!

Here's the Ferry I took!

The entrance to the Ellis Island Museum- where over 16 Million people arrived, including 1166 Cains (7 of which had the first name Albert), and 7896 Turners (162 of which are Josephs!), and 36 Rutlands, 55 Teters, 114 Dieters, 20 Deiters, 25103 Millers, 15911 Moores, 325 Collings, 1065 Merrills, 30 Vanderhoofs, 1281 O'Keefes, 21 Pindars, 471 Madigans, 5107 Barneses, 1448 Kosters, 9 Gerstheimers, 2696 Goodmans, 443 Wolfsons, 6379 Butlers, 268 Telfords, 262 Pearts, 824 Wendts, 3 Albrittons, 44 Woudenbergs, 96 Furnisses, 6 Ziesels, 692 Noyeses, 3403 McKennas, 134 Parents, and 1 Schwarzenegger.

And Last but ovbiously not least- Lady Liberty!~

There is an inevitable welling of "American pride" that occurs when you see that lady- she's pretty cool. I'd recommend her.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

More photos.

Here are some more pictures of the great birthday of 2005! The spacing is weird cause I have experienced some technical difficulties, but hopefully you can still get the point!

Wow... excitement!

Here we are! Joanna, Claire, and Josh.

Joanna, Claire, Josh, and Dan- aww!

Yeah... I dunno.

Me feeding Joanna some McSorley's dark!

Ahh, Close Up!

This is me getting ready to fake throw up, and Joanna fearing that I will... oh no! Look at how real-life it looks, look at the sweat and blood dripping from my brow, you can just tell I'm about to lose it!

And here's more excitement from yours truly!

Dan expressing himself.


And... still excited.

I got a halo for my birthday!

Hooray! Here we are in front of McSorley's!

Great night, so fun! And there you have it!

That Great Day.

Well here we go!

This is Kristine's gift to me- Crate and Barrel wine glasses! Look at the presentation! When I got out of the shower this was awaiting me!

Staci also gave me her gift- what sweet roomates! Staci's was wrapped in magazine pages, and was a Kate Spade book on Manners (oh, she loves me!) and Sleepless in Seattle. And... soon... a drawing of Alberto, of course!

After that I dealt with the computer melt down of October 2005, which has been fixed and now my comp is happier than ever! After taking my friend iBook in to the Digital Society to consult some nerds, I met Elizabeth and we went to a restaurant called the Boat House in Central Park! It overlooks part of the pond where people paddle around in little boats... so cute! And romantic, may I add! So E and I sat right by the windows, the sun was shining in, and it was just perfect!

Here is a picture of the view we had from our table!

Here is a picture of me and our french waiter! Aww Europeans, so affectionate...?
They brought me out this really fantastic chocolate lava cake with raspberry chocolate insides... oh boy, it was good. That is chocolate at its most edible, let me tell you!

Here is on of me and Elizabeth- isn't she just beautiful!!!

After lunch we sauntered through Central Park and down 5th Avenue to Barney's, where I had never been before! We walked around and Elizabeth educated me in the ways of high fashion, and I decided that yeah, if I were super rich, I could probably spend some money there. This is a picture of Elizabeth trying on a Bobby hat- I think it was probably just shy of $600.00- but isn't it just so versatile and FABulous!?

After a fantastic afternoon with Elizabeth, for which I can't thank her enough, I headed home to meet up with Staci.

We chatted a minute and then walked up to 25th where Megan and Laura live (Navigator and bible study friends, if I haven't informed you of this already!). Megan made a really good chicken and barley soup, and we had cake!
Here is me and my cake!

Here are some other fun pictures from dinner:

Me and Susan

Me and Staci

Me, Megan, and Kathryn!

After that great meal Stac and I walked back to Carlyle. I got to chat with Gavin and get his advice on drinking: Liquor before Beer, in the Clear, Beer before Liquor, never been sicker! And that night I stuck with Dark McSorley's beer and only beer, so I was just fine.

SO... Joanna and Josh picked me up at Carlyle and we headed to McSorley's, New York's oldest Irish Pub! Here are some fun pictures from that, and there are more to come, cause Josh has a lot of them on his camera!
Here is one round for the three of us: 2 little mugs of beer, the equivalent of one whole bottle of beer-

This is Joanna and Me!

And a Terrible picture of me, and Josh!

Joanna and me again- we laughed a lot that night- the guys at our table were so crazy!

And here are the two boys!

This is a good group shot- Dan Brown came over to the pub after his water polo practice and joined us, so he's the blondy on the far right!

We had a great time there, including some crazy table guests, and a fantastic moment of me walking into the men's bathroom- which did not occur because of any alcoholic alteration, but rather because I am an idiot, and also because women only started being able to enter that place in 1970 (yeah, a little slow, are we? Those Irish...) and so the ladies' is in a far corner and is basically a closet... that was one of my finer moments! It was a great time!

I had a truly great birthday! Thanks to everyone who send their birthday wishes, and for all the calls, texts, facebooks, letters, and e-mails! I wish you all could have been here! And if you weren't I'll look forward to celebrating together the next time we're together!