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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Science Fair for June 2nd-7th

This week, I'm avoiding the extreme weather by catching up on TV shows I've missed out on in the last few years, like Freaks and Geeks and Gordon Ramsay's plethora of programming. I just can't get enough of that John Francis Daley and the abrasive but strangely pleasing Gordon Ramsay, my goodness.

I haven't had a lot of time lately to catch up on my favorite blogs or really contribute to this one, but I have discovered a few new favorites to share--isn't that the great thing about blogging? No real content, just "hey! check out this interesting so-and-so!" I love it.

-First up is the newly discovered Midtown Lunch, which as you can imagine, covers only one thing: where to find great food in Midtown Manhattan. It's my new guilty pleasure at work when mornings are slow (or I'm just slow in the morning, it happens) to check out what everyone else is eating in midtown. Seems to me that Midtown East, where I work, is even more of a wasteland than everywhere else! Still, I've found some great places for lunch, gathering intel from Yelp and even from a lady in line for the Treats Truck.

-Second is the ingenious Ikea Hacker. As many of us youngsters do, I furnished my first apartment with all Ikea furniture and scrounged from my family a bit. I'm not so creative with furniture--barely able to put together the furniture as it comes--but the hacks some people submit are crazy! Hidden TV screens, moving room dividers, chairs out of bathroom sinks, lamps out of wastebaskets! Truly inspirational, if you love design and tinkering.

-Third, I have new glasses! Well, truthfully, new glasses and new sunglasses. I was in desperate need for new sunglasses since the frames I got two years ago at my HMO optical place are absolutely crap-tastic. Now, I have these frames from LaFont for my regular, everyday glasses and these from L.A. Eyeworks as new sunglasses. I am still getting used to the LaFonts, they are definitely different from my one-of-a-kind, vintage-inspires grey and black cat's-eyes I've had for two years. Glasses do wear out, though, and I am so ready for a change!

-Fourth, I love Ciao Bella gelato. I get quite excited when I see it in the grocery store (and it has to be a bit of a fancy grocery store, which is also exciting for a pretentious glutton like me). They have new flavors out for the summer, in addition to my old favorite, their green tea with white chocolate chunks. Yum yum yum. I am a big ol' softie when it comes to graham cracker crusts, not to mention cookie crusts or even just regular pie crust. Mmm. So, of course I have gone out and tried Ciao Bella's two new cookie flavors for Summer 2008 for you, dear readers--the Key Lime & Graham Cracker Swirl and the Maple Ginger Snap. The key lime is not as tart as a key lime pie filling, but is a pleasingly smooth, creamy combination of sharp citrus notes and good old fresh cream. The graham cracker swirl is more of a well-distributed graham cracker dust, which is delightful for my inner child, who wants every bite of her food to have even flavor distribution. The Maple Ginger Snap is great, all warm and spicy, I bet it would be amazing on some apple or pumpkin pie a la mode, just to be decadent. Look at me, this heatwave is making me into an ice cream connoisseur!

-Fifth, I've had a tragedy involving my stove/oven unit this week. Long story short, the gas to my stove and oven has been shut off, so all I have to work with is a toaster and a small rice cooker. (No microwave! Damn sublet, who doesn't have a microwave in this day and age?) Obviously, I can just eat out all the time, but seriously, I am not made of money. I'm stuck making salads, sandwiches and rice for the rest of the summer, unless you can help! Any ideas for no-cook meals?

-Sixth, Newsweek has put out an intriguing feature article on the influence of the economy on fashion, and vice versa. Time to dust off that basic econ course you took way back when, but use it to think about mini versus maxi-length skirts! (This week's edition also has an interesting piece on Afghanistan's lost treasures, for those of you who, like me, harbor secret dreams of being archaeologists.)

-Seventh, this new Tokyu Fukutoshin subway line in Tokyo is totally exciting. You have no idea. Like Gwen Stefani (homegirl gaffled my styles), my heart lives in Tokyo--I seriously have three t-shirts with "I <3 [insert district of Tokyo here]" printed on them. Tokyo Metro was just breaking ground on the Fukutoshin Line when I was studying in Tokyo in 2004, part of the new line will replace an old rickety rail running from Ikebukuro through Zoushigaya (where I used to live! In a dorm!) and south to Shibuya. It's going to be amazing. The best part about all the new subway lines is the shiny new cars--last summer, half of the JR Yamanote line was covered in cherry blossoms for the special-edition cherry blossom-flavored white chocolate Kit-Kat. (The matcha flavored Kit-Kats also taste like baby angels made of clouds and sunshine.)

-Eighth, are you neurotic? Reading other people's nervous tics and obsessive-compulsive habits has me torn between feeling totally normal and nervous that I am, in fact, bonkers. I think the only neurotic thing I do is worry about the number of stairs in a staircase--I have long legs, and like to go up stairs two at a time--so much so that when choosing colleges, I counted and tested the staircases on campuses. Obviously, I chose the college with an even number of steps, and it pleased me immensely.

Well, I'm off to watch more television and prepare for another work week. Have a great week, everyone, try to stay cool!

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