Thursday, September 27, 2007

      ( 11:22 PM ) teahouse

I'm an avid collector and breeder of African cichlids. My already-tiny Manhattan living space is taken up in large part by two large aquariums.

Recently I forayed into the world of Lake Tanganyikan cichlids. Specifically, cichlids of the genus Tropheus.

These little critters are amazingly finicky, and if not fed a very precise diet, succumb to something vaguely referred to as "bloat" which causes them to stop eating, get the runs (yeah, it's lovely) and basically drop dead in a matter of days.

As of last week, I was down to 2 of these fish. And today one of the remaining 2 succumbed to the mysterious illness.

The one that remains has stopped eating. Once that happens, it's too far gone and I basically have to accept that it will be dead by morning. It does look a bit bloated, too.

And coincidentally, I ate something that disagreed with me for dinner tonight, and spent 2 hours running back and forth to the bathroom.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen..my fish and I BOTH had digestive issues tonight.

I guess I got what I deserved for screwing up his diet.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

      ( 12:02 AM ) teahouse
To Go

"I'll take that salad to go," I told the young man who was mixing my salad and the neighborhood deli last night.

"To go?" he asked flirtatiously. "To go where, beautiful girl? Can I go, too?" He winked at me.

I have to admit, that's the first time I've ever heard that particular mundane phrase turned into a pick-up line. I had to give him credit for being creative.


Monday, September 24, 2007

      ( 7:11 AM ) teahouse
Nerdy Musician Humor

The Fiance is the player of a string instrument.

On Friday I accompanied him to the shop of one of his luthier friends, to do some bow shopping.

He's been on the market to buy a new bow for a while. He also has to get his old bows rehaired regularly. As he has explained to me, it's really important to keep the hairs on a bow smooth, supple and full. Repeated playing will often wear them off, and they have to be replaced regularly.

So I met the Fiance at his friend's studio. When I walked in, he was playing on his instrument, trying out different bows.

"I'll take these three home to try out," he said to the luthier, indicating three bows.

The luthier packed them into a special case for him. "I see you liked the Brazilian bow," he remarked. I just got these in; they're pretty nice."

"The Brazilian bow?" I asked the Fiance later, as we were walking down the street. "So does that mean it has less hair than the other bows?"

His response? "Baby, I love it when you talk dirty to me!"


Thursday, September 20, 2007

      ( 10:54 PM ) teahouse

Tonight I was riding home on the subway, when I suddenly had the strangest feeling.

I looked up, and realized that the feeling was caused by the fact that it was eerily quiet.

Apart from the screeching of breaks and grinding of metal that one is accustomed to hearing while on the New York City subway, there was nothing but the lone sound of a single human voice muttering.

When it's quiet in New York City, it's always cause for concern.

I looked around me, and realized that every single person sitting in my row of seats (about 7 or 8 people) - AND, believe it or not, 3 people sitting across from me - was plugged into an iPod.

Yes, I saw almost an entire subway car full of people with the signature white earbuds in their ears.

It was the technological equivalent of a total eclipse of the sun, with the moon and stars aligned. What were the chances that all of these iPod users converged on my subway car at this given point in time?

They were all listening to their music, oblivious to the world around them and not interacting with anyone else.

The only people in view who weren't plugged into their iPods were me and a homeless woman sitting across from me who was muttering to herself.

I guess it was because she had nobody else to talk to.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

      ( 8:42 AM ) teahouse
Bad Behavior

Since I live on the Upper West Side, I like to go to the Fairway to shop for food.

It's a local grocery store, but it's more than just a grocery store.

It's got great produce, high-end gourmet foods, and it's pretty much like a trip to Disneyland for your average Upper West Side yuppie.

I was there last night buying milk, vegetables and gourmet olives (mmm). It was a nice place to be after a long day at work, strolling up and down the aisles and shopping for my dinner.

My peace of mind was shattered by a screeching sound. There was a crazy looking woman at the fish counter yelling at the poor guy who worked there.

"I want 3 pieces of salmon from THAT END of the fish!" she yelled. "No, not that piece! That's too small! No cut that bigger!"

The guy had a huge piece of salmon in one hand, and was trying to slice smaller pieces for her as she yelled at him. There were various other pieces of different sizes on a cutting board that she had rejected. He was trying to be patient, but she was yelling so loudly that other customers were staring at her.

I swear, she was demonic and crazed. She was clearly an over-entitled rich woman who was used to ordering people around.

She made this guy cut up about half a dozen pieces of salmon before she was satisfied. Or so it seemed.

But in the end she yelled, "This is impossible! It's all your fault for messing it all up! I'm in a hurry; I can't wait!" and ran off in a huff.

So yeah, I like everything about the Fairway. Except some of the clientele.


Saturday, September 15, 2007

      ( 11:41 PM ) teahouse
The Queen of Queens

I spent most of today in Queens.

For most of his adulthood, the Fiance has had season tickets to see the New York Mets. He is a frighteningly rabid fan of the Mets. So during baseball season we both end up out there on almost a weekly basis.

Today we headed out there, as usual wearing our Mets baseball caps and our jerseys with our favorite players' names on the back.

It was a perfect day for a baseball game. We met up with some of our friends. The weather was gorgeous. We cheered when the Mets scored and booed at the bad calls. We yelled a lot and heckled the people sitting behind us, who were rooting for the visiting team.

I ate a sausage on a bun with onions and peppers. We had beer and water and popcorn and peanuts. The weather made everything taste delicious and seem wonderful. The whole time we were there, the sun smiled down upon us and the clouds barely slowed down on their journeys across the blue sky.

Afterwards, we got on the 7 train and went to Flushing where we blended in with the Asian crowd and had some mind-blowing Chinese food for dinner.

I don't have much else to say, except that it was a really good day. My belly is full and I'm sleepy.

And that is all. Carry on as you were.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

      ( 7:04 AM ) teahouse
Rest in Peace

I was going through my mail the other night, and came across a brochure with my name on a pre-printed label adhered to it.

The cover depicted a beautiful garden with the title, "Become a Part of History."

Curious, I opened the brochure and began to read. I figured it was a solicitation for a donation to a nonprofit organization.

The inside of the brochure contained more photos of trees, flowers, shrubs. I continued reading. The large title in the center of the brochure read:

Come Here for a Visit; Stay Here for an Eternity

"Hmm.." I wondered. "Is this a hospital? A rehab center? A retirement community?"

I read on.

Our location offers a wide selection of choices to memorialize your loved ones.

Cremation - Our chapel is a full-service state-of-the-art facility. We offer a variety of contemporary and traditional niche styles. An urn garden and lawn niches are available for those who prefer ground burial for cremated bodies.

Entombment - Families who prefer above-ground burial may select a crypt from one of our elegant community mausoleums. Single, double, companion, couch or family style crypts are available.

Despite the obvious question of how I managed to get on this place's mailing list, I have to say, it all looks rather appealing.

Perhaps I should buy the Fiance a plot as a wedding present. We can get a couch-style crypt together.

It can't hurt to plan ahead, can it?


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

      ( 9:19 AM ) teahouse
I Remember

Six years ago today was my 26th birthday.

Needless to say, my big birthday party that day got canceled due to other cataclysmic events that happened that morning in New York City.

But I'm thankful that everyone I know who worked in the World Trade Center towers got out of the buildings just fine.

I'm glad they are all still around to help me celebrate my 32nd birthday today!

Everyone have a great day and kiss your loved ones.


Saturday, September 08, 2007

      ( 10:48 PM ) teahouse
Occupational Perils

I played a music gig this weekend, and all I can say is ... Wow, it was really grueling.

It was an outdoor concert, set on an outdoor stage. And it was super hot, and yet windy at the same time.

So for the entire rehearsal and concert, the sun was beating down on us, and shining straight in my eyes.

I couldn't see the music for part of the performance because of the glare. When the glare wasn't an issue, my music was blowing off my stand. Dozens of clothespins didn't seem to keep it attached.

On top of that, it was about 90 degrees all day.

I discovered that it's no fun to play a wind instrument when you're sweating profusely. Two things alternately happen:

(1) Sweat trickles down your face and into your eyes, thus stinging horribly and rendering you blind and unable to read the music.

(2) Sweat trickles down your face and onto your mouth, thus turning it into a slick pool to which an instrument's mouthpiece cannot adhere and stay in a fixed position. Hence, your instrument starts sliding around on your face, and you lose your emboucher and can't play.

Yeah, for the whole concert I was alternately blinking, sputtering and trying to wipe the sweat off my head.

Most embarrassingly, at the end of the performance, the conductor pointed to the soloists to stand up and bow. As I couldn't see the conductor clearly through my stinging eyes, I thought he was pointing at all of us (including me). So I stood up.

Then, looking around and realizing that EVERYONE else was still sitting, I realized the faux pas I made. Through the glare I think I was the conductor glaring at my impertinence. Trying to sit back down, I missed the chair and nearly knocked over my music stand. How embarrassing!

Yes, I did for a moment in the past consider quitting law and pursuing a career as a professional musician. But after this particular gig, I've decided not to quit my day job!


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

      ( 6:58 AM ) teahouse
Playing Hard to Get

I'm back in town for good this time.

August was so busy in terms of travel, that I'm exhausted. Looking forward to an uneventful September. At home!

So the Fiance and I have set a wedding date, and I am trying to work out the logistics of the wedding ceremony with my church. For the past couple of days I've been playing phone tag with my priest. Let's call him Father O'Halloran.

I'm telling you, this man is hard to get a hold of! Yesterday he called me and left me a voicemail at work saying, "THB, this is Father O'Halloran. I got your message, and it sounds fine. There are some things I need from you before the ceremony. Please call me back at 212-xxx-xxxx and we can talk today."

Not 2 minutes later, I dialed that number and was greeted by a surly Parish secretary (why are Parish secretaries always surly?)

"Father O'Halloran is not in today" she said sternly. "It's his day off."

"But he just called me not 2 minutes ago and gave me this number to call him back!" I protested.

"Sorry," she said, in a voice that clearly conveyed that she thought I had made up the whole story, and that I couldn't possibly have received a message from him. "I haven't seen him all day. He's not available until tomorrow."

Frustrated, I hung up. And waited in vain for the rest of the day for him to return the call.

It just proves the old adage: Men never call when they say they will!

Even the men who have taken a vow of celibacy. A girl always ends up waiting by the telephone.


THIRTYSOMETHING (!!) year old Asian American New Yorker, lawyer, amateur musician, curious girl taking a bite out of the Big Apple. Don't mess with me - I'm short and I look demure, but I carry a big purse. And I've just embarked on the journey of married life in Manhattan.

Currently Reading
The Labors of Hercules by Agatha Christie

Currently Listening To
Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante

Currently Watching
Poirot: The Clocks

E-mail teahouseblossom

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