Category Archives: Random

Sara Silverman and The Great Schlep

A colleague of mine just sent me this video. Watch it — it’s great!
The Great Schlep

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Abusive Language?

Sujal showed me this website, Wordsplosian, which shows misuse of language, mainly in public places. As an English teacher, it’s not terribly shocking to see these, yet some are pretty funny!

Burn After Reading

Sujal and I went to see the new Coen brothers’ film, Burn After Reading. It is very bizarre in the way one might expected to not expect from the Coen brothers. Frances McDormand is a really great actress! The whole cast is awesome, actually. I highly recommend this flic!

New Britain, CT — a.k.a. Little Poland

How I love going to Broad St. in New Britain, CT. It is chockfull of little polish delis, grocers, bakeries, restaurants, and of course, polish people! It’s a bit odd going there, too, because I look like I totally belong there. Being a purebred of polish ancestry, I look polish. So when I go there, people often presume I speak Polish. I don’t, aside from a few words, which are mainly swear words I learned from my wonderful polish grandmothers.

I went there today to meet a friend at the European Cafe, a small cafe in the heart of the polish community. It was a lovely little cafe at 113 Broad St. I recommend it. We had very yummy nalesniki (which were listed on the menu in English as “crepes”).

While there, these two ladies were sitting next to us chatting in Polish. Then they turned to us and started speaking. I finally said, “Oh, are you talking to us?” and I figured out she said that she thought I was polish and spoke Polish. I said I am polish but don’t speak it. Shortly before that, I was telling my friend about how this is often the case when I go there. She remarked that she does not normally think of someone as looking polish. All I can say to that is, look at me!

DO check out the European Cafe in New Britain! I also stopped at Kasia’s Bakery (one of my favorites!) and got a loaf of delicious rye bread. I love it!

springsteen!!!

I just wanted to do a quick post to say I’m in the parking lot after a Springsteen show! It was a serendipitous event for me. I only found out I was going minutes before we left. More later.

Mama Mia!

Rita and I went to see Mama Mia! last night. It was a really fun movie. In a sea of movies that feel the same, this one feels fresher than most of what is in theaters now. It almost had a bollywood feel.

As an aside, so many movies feel like repeats of already made flicks. Perhaps I’m merely at an age where Seneca rings true: “There is nothing new under the sun.” One of the trailers before the movie was about a man who dies, and his ghost has unfinished business on earth. Hmmmm, original storyline? Ugh. So Mama Mia! felt a bit less hackneyed. At the se time, I felt myself comparing it to Moulin Rouge and bollywood films.

Meryl Streep was great! I really love her! I was thinking how cool it was for Amanda Seyfreid to play her daughter in the flick. Christine Baranski was and Julie Walters were also great. There was a group of women sitting next to me, all singing along with the film. They were in some serious seventh heaven. And the “Dancing Queen” scene is pretty great.

Domestically Challenged, Yet Improving

The Armoire

I have to say I am pretty damn proud of myself. I am generally quite domestically challenged, but this week, I made myself a jewelry “armoire.” I tend to be a bit frugal, while husband dear tends to be a spender. I hem and haw over making a big purchase. “Pre-shopping” is a full-time hobby of mine. Just ask my friends who got to the mall with me. They come home with bags, and I come home empty-handed after trying on a ton of clothing. Then I may go back and get one item. Well, I have been wanting a jewelry armoire for close to a year. (This one is nice, too.) But I go to JC Penney and check them out. Sometimes they are on sale. Sometimes I have a coupon. Yet somehow, it always seems like an insanely frivolous purchase. Granted, if we stopped eating out for a week, we’d recoup our loss.

Anyway, my birthday recently passed (35 — yipes! I’m officially middle aged, which is obvious when I now have to check the 35-50 box). I asked for the armoire. Sujal did not want to buy it, mainly because he did not think it would match our future bedroom set. Sometimes I wondered about the quality of the armoires. They can seem to be shoddily made. So I did not get one.

My friend, Rita, is doing a little eBay selling project. She has a closet full of wares to sell, so I was peeking through. She had this Ikea unfinished pine cabinet. When I saw it, I figured I could buy it off of her, stain it, put in some hooks, and then I’d have a fancy armoire! Basically, I just wanted one for my necklaces, so I could actually see what I have instead of keeping them in a tangled mess in little boxes. So I did just that. I went out and got some stain — oil-based — oops! I stained that puppy. Don’t worry. It has character. There are my finger marks on the top. Then I put in twenty-six little brass hooks.

We were going to hang the cabinet on the wall, though we are afraid of hanging things on the plaster, because we don’t really know how to. We’ve looked into it, but we’re always afraid the walls will crumble. And frankly, it looks damn good! (If I don’t mind saying so myself!)

The Garden

Then, Lara came over to take some flowering weeds off of our hands. The flower beds are the bane of my existence. The weeds are winning! So we dug and dug, pulling out Black-Eyed Susans, Lily of the Valley, and other flowering weeds that I don’t recall their names. Lara also had this great idea to “kill” weeds. If you weed an area where you want nothing to grow (at least for a bit), then lay newspaper down and mulch over it. The newspaper is biodegradable, so it won’t hurt anything, But the weeds can’t grow through it. I did this decent sized section, and next year, we can plant grass there!!

The next big home improvement task: taking down a border in our living room and painting lots of walls.

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New West Hartford Blog

Sujal tends to keep up with this more than I do, but I just wanted to link to this new(ish) WH blog, West Hartford Forums. A “conversation place” is key to democracy and community. It looks interesting so far, and I wish them the best!

The Wire

The past few weeks, Sujal has gotten me hooked on the HBO show The Wire. It’s a pretty gritty show set in Baltimore, and it follows several police and various police “targets.” It’s pretty addictive. One of the things that drives me a little nuts is that there is so much product placement. Being that the show focuses mainly on cops, you can imagine there is a lot of coffee drinking, and there are no shortage of front and center Dunkin’ Donuts coffee cups. Once they showed a junkie eating McDonald’s food, again, name prominently displayed. The cops are often drinking — the show must have contracts with Jameson and with Miller Lite.

I just started watching season four, and a kid buys a nail gun (for all the “wrong” reasons, I might add) in a large home improvement store. But Home Depot seemed unwilling to give the okay (or perhaps the cash), because the storefront had a very similar style sign — same colors — called Housewares Barn.

The show has some great character development as well as good storytelling.

Bingo!

Last night Rita and I went to play Bingo at The Beth David Synagogue in West Hartford. I had not been to a Bingo game since I was a child and my grandmother took a bunch of us to church bingo. I remember how intense the games were, and I always wanted a bingo inker. Well all of those dreams came true last night!

So, yes, Rita and I were considerably younger than the vast majority in attendance, though we were of the majority gender. When we made the plan to go, Rita asked me if I thought it would be really smoky, and I figured in our ever-increasingly smoke-free age that there would be no smoking. Alas, I was wrong, which was the major drawback to the event. But it was a riot! People are very serious about their game. We got a lot of bingo cards, and it was hard to keep up with the calling at first. Most people had at least double the cards we did. They had these systems of taping their cards together and this trash bag system. I tell ya, it is a whole subculture. And there are all of these crazy games that are pretty confusing — different configurations on the bingo card. But Rita and I, armed with our one inker each, stuck the evening out with great bravery! Even though husbands and friends derided us, we enjoyed the evening with the old ladies. We were also shocked at how many inkers each person had. Some people would line up ten bottles of ink. We could not figure out why the heck anyone would need that many bottles. It’s not like one would run out.

For those of you with your need to fulfill your bingo fix, here’s a helpful link of bingo halls in Connecticut and a national listing. Perhaps Rita and I will see you at the next game — hopefully a smoke-free game. I turn 35 on Saturday, so perhaps this is a stepping stone to middle age.